Los Angeles Homeowners Ask: Do I need earthquake insurance for my home?

Los Angeles Homes

Los Angeles Homeowners Ask, “Do I need earthquake insurance for my home?”

Reddit.com, to most people, might not be the best source for financial advice. But if you’re familiar with Reddit, you know what an incredible community tool it can be. In fact, we found an engaging conversation in the AskLosAngeles subreddit regarding earthquake insurance for homeowners.

On September 29, 2021, Reddit user “thedivanextdoor” posed the simple question:

“Homeowners in LA, yes or no to earthquake insurance?”

In true Reddit style, users (u/) quickly offered up their varying opinions on the subject of earthquake insurance. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of earthquake insurance.

Perhaps the original poster should change her name to “thedivanextdoorwithEQinsurance”.

Read on to discover insights from local homeowners that have experienced earthquake damage, or are simply not willing to take that risk.

Earthquake Insurance Insights from Southern California Homeowners:

  • u/BrianLA: Lived here my entire life, born and raised. In 1994 there was a large quake, people died. The house my family lived in had a lot of damage. We lived in a hotel for 9 weeks while they basically rebuilt the top half of the house. It would have absolutely bankrupt my folks without quake insurance. I just bought a house 1.5 years ago and have quake insurance. It’s a very real threat that can cause a lot of damage. If you aren’t familiar look up the Northridge quake of 1994 and how bad it was.
  • u/racquetballjones23: Without that insurance, we would not have been able to rebuild the house much less live elsewhere for two months while the work was being completed.
  • u/floppydo: Same reasoning for my wife and I. Her parents house was half destroyed in Northridge and if it weren’t for earthquake insurance they would have been ruined.
  • u/tracyinge: …and we’re currently way way wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy overdue for a major incident so quake insurance has become a much better investment probability.
  • u/dommichu: We have it. The thing with an earthquake is that if it’s big enough (and the one they say is overdue is much bigger than northridge was)… it will level us all.
  • u/catswatchingyou: Owned homes in CA for ~25 years. Knew people who lost their homes from the Northridge quake – one home had to be demolished and 100% rebuilt, others were uninhabitable for months until structural repairs were made. It made a big difference to those people if they had coverage. People with coverage got action on their situation within days or weeks. People without coverage were left on their own trying to find available contractors to do repairs, and contractors were busy with insured work. Some people ended up selljng their homes because they couldn’t get repairs / no contractors available for many months/over a year, and at some point they couldn’t afford to keep paying both a mortgage and rent for temporary housing.
  • u/WilliamMcCarty: Realtor and homeowner here. Yes, it’s one of those things I wouldn’t go without and would always recommend one have. Some policies are better than others, some have higher deductibles. God willing you never have to make use of it but it’s one of those things in life it’s better to have and not need than need and not have.
  • u/jwrose: We are long overdue for a big one. It might not happen in our lifetime, or it might happen tomorrow. Don’t roll the dice on being both homeless and financially devastated on the same day.
  • u/Blabitybla2021: I would 100% get it as a homeowner. Think of it this way, you could get it or not. An earthquake could happen or not. If, you don’t have it and a serious earthquake never happens – great, you saved a lot of money. Would you be stressing over a possibility of earthquake happening? Or would you be fine and not think about it? If, you don’t have it and a serious earthquake happens, you’re potentially paying for expensive repairs and hotels. Also keep in mind that we’re currently in a pandemic and a lot of supply chains are disturbed, so it could take longer than normal for a repair. If you get insurance and an earthquake happens, you’re fine. Insurance will cover you. If you get insurance and an earthquake never happened, you’re some money but overall nothing else. Would the peace of mind be worth the cost? So boils down to a few questions:
    • Do you believe an earthquake is likely in the next few years?
    • Do you need a safety blanket in case it does or would you be OK paying out of pocket?
    • Can you afford earthquake insurance?
    • All of this assuming you live in an earthquake prone/possible area.
  • u/DocSaysItsDainBramuj: Earthquake insurance covers up to the same amount of your dwelling value, based on your homeowners insurance. Getting your foundation earthquake retrofitted is strongly recommended and it will reduce your premiums. I spent about $6k to have this done. Estimated earthquake premium is now about $100/mo. You can also opt for coverage for housing while you are displaced, your belongings, and other add-ons. The deductible is not paid out of pocket—it is taken out of your total claim. 

Our favorite response to, “Should you get earthquake insurance”:

  • u/realpm_net: Just another rando here to say, ABSOLUTELY GET THIS INSURANCE. Your regular home-owners insurance will not cover earthquake damage. You’d be completely SOL without it.

As you can see, homeowners in Los Angeles and surrounding areas are serious about earthquake insurance. And, the risk is real – experts at USGS warn a large magnitude quake will occur in highly populated areas of Southern California.

It’s not a matter of if…but when.

The good news is, Southern California homeowners can be prepared with a stand alone earthquake insurance policy from GeoVera. California earthquake insurance doesn’t have to be complicated, and GeoVera makes it easy to select the right coverage and purchase your policy online.

GeoVera is rated “A” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Company and is the premier provider of residential earthquake insurance in California, Oregon & Washington.