Does Home Insurance in California Cover Wildfires and Earthquakes?


Does Home Insurance in California Cover Wildfires and Earthquakes?

California homeowners are blessed with beautiful weather and a lower frequency of homeowners claims. However, there are two really big risks that you want to make sure your insurance policies cover.

Wildfires - Covered

Fire (including wildfire) is normally covered by your homeowners policy. With the recent California fires, this has really hurt insurance carriers and driven up their loss ratio. This makes insurance carriers far more sensitive to offering new coverage for homes that could be next to the next brush fire. Look at what happened in first six months in 2018 in California:

  CA Fires Acres
Jan - Jun 2019 1,795 18,316
Jan - Jun 2018 2,615 145,287
Jan - Jun (5 year avg) 2,464 46,636

Source: https://www.fire.ca.gov/stats-and-events/

Earthquakes - Not Covered

The other gorilla in the room is Earthquakes. California knows the next big one is coming. Earthquake insurance is not covered in your homeowners insurance and requires a separate policy. Most earthquake insurance policies are bought through an agency, but are backed by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA).

It's best to get coverage for both wildfires and earthquakes if you can afford it. Be warned that often times earthquake insurance can cost far more than your homeowners insurance. It all depends on how close you are to the fault lines that run through the golden state. Best of luck!

At your service,
Young Alfred