NORTHRIDGE ( — Insurance officials offered a new incentive Monday for homeowners across the Southland and throughout California to prepare for the region’s next big earthquake.

KNX 1070’s Pete Demetriou reports Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced a new multi-policy discount for homeowners that includes earthquake insurance.

Under the terms of a new agreement between the California Earthquake Authority and Auto Club of Southern California (AAA), homeowners who have new or existing policies with AAA are eligible to receive a first-of-its-kind 7 percent discount on their homeowners’ insurance when they also purchase earthquake coverage, according to Jones.

Speaking across the street from the site of the Northridge Meadows apartments that collapsed and killed 16 people during the Jan. 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake, Jones said the plan would provide about 400,000 AAA customers another option to “protect lives and property during an earthquake.”

AAA CEO Robert Bouttier reminded residents that homeowners’ policies do not cover earthquake and could leave thousands of families at financial risk.

“I doubt that many of us have sufficient assets to rebuild our homes, and the government…isn’t going to do it for us,” Bouttier said.

Only about 12 percent of homeowners statewide have separate quake insurance, according to state figures.

The new policy from AAA takes effect on January 1.

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