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California Earthquake Authority

November 28, 1995 | ED BOND, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Although given preliminary approval by the state Legislature and Gov. Pete Wilson, the future of the proposed California Earthquake Authority is in doubt. The privately financed, publicly managed agency would sell earthquake coverage on behalf of insurance companies and limit insurers' losses in the event of a catastrophe such as the Northridge earthquake. Insurance industry experts have predicted the total payout for the 1994 temblor could exceed $12.5 billion.
November 28, 2004 | Jeff Bertolucci, Special to The Times
More California homeowners are passing on earthquake insurance. Between 1999 and 2003, there was a 52% decline in the number of earthquake policies in the state, according to the California Department of Insurance. Today, less than 15% of California homes have the coverage. Since a standard homeowners' policy doesn't cover earthquake damage, the vast majority of consumers will have to rely on federal grants or loans -- or their own bank accounts -- to pay for any future quake-related repairs.
August 9, 1996
"Insurers Are Finding a Friend in Quackenbush" (editorial, Aug. 2) mentions that there is more than one way to approach the earthquake insurance problem. That is a given. The Northridge earthquake put 20th Century Fire and Casualty out of business. There is no actuarial method of determining an adequate premium for earthquake insurance as we know it today. Therefore, any company that sells earthquake policies could be put out of business with the next major earthquake. Does it make sense to say the insurance companies have something to gain with the creation of the California Earthquake Authority, when in reality they just want to be able to stay in business after the next earthquake hits?
The governing board of the California Earthquake Authority on Friday named Greg Butler its permanent chief executive officer, drawing an unusually sharp blast from state Senate Democratic leader Bill Lockyer (D-Hayward). Lockyer called Butler, who has been serving as interim head of the state insurance agency, "a young political hack with little or no expertise in insurance or earthquakes" and charged that the appointment is "a slap to California homeowners." "It is outrageous. It is corrupt.
December 12, 2004
Regarding "Earthquake Policies Dwindle in California," [by Jeff Bertolucci, Nov. 28]: At the time of the Northridge earthquake, I had earthquake insurance. My house had about $60,000 of structural damage but little loss of personal possessions. Because my wife has asthma, we could not live in the house while repairs were underway. Our insurance not only paid for the repairs (after the deductible) but also for us to live in an apartment for seven months. After the Legislature "reformed" earthquake insurance, I allowed our policy to lapse.
September 29, 2001 | From Bloomberg News
The California Earthquake Authority said it's protected at least until the end of next year from any damage to the reinsurance industry after the terror attacks that toppled the World Trade Center. The earthquake authority, a privately funded, publicly managed agency that provides earthquake insurance to homeowners, had secured $1.97 billion in reinsurance contracts through December 2002 before the attacks Sept. 11.
December 1, 2012
SACRAMENTO -- In California, two earthquake insurance companies are lowering their rates. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced Friday that he approved a 15.5% rate reduction for Chubb Insurance. The average annual premium will fall to $5,021 from $5,940, according to the state Department of Insurance. Chartis Insurance earthquake coverage rates are going down 15%, with average annual premiums dropping to $6,061 from $7,292, the Department of Insurance said. Overall savings to consumers will total about $15 million, it said.
March 10, 2010
Despite the near certainty of a major temblor in the coming decades, relatively few Californians insure their homes against earthquakes. That's because the cost of the coverage is high and the value is low. Owners of modest homes in Southern California pay more than $1,000 a year for policies that won't provide a dime in benefits unless their houses have suffered more than $30,000 or $40,000 in damages. The high premiums reflect the cost of building financial reserves at the California Earthquake Authority, the agency that provides most of the state's policies.
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