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Earthquake Coverage

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BUSINESS
January 17, 1997 | KATHY M. KRISTOF
California homeowners, it may be time to start shopping around for insurance coverage. "We are right at the beginning of a buyer's market for homeowner's insurance," says California Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush. "As this market begins to heat up and companies come back into the state to do business, you are going to see a price war among homeowners' companies."
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OPINION
January 17, 2014 | By Dave Jones
Almost exactly 20 years ago, early on the morning of Jan. 17, 1994, residents of the San Fernando Valley were jolted awake by incredible shaking. Within moments, the Santa Monica Freeway - the major east-west artery in Los Angeles - came crashing down in huge sections; apartment houses pancaked, trapping and killing residents; and houses toppled off their foundations. It was no wonder. The magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake had just produced the strongest ground motions ever recorded in any American urban environment.
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BUSINESS
March 1, 2001 | LIZ PULLIAM WESTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The temblor that hit the Seattle area Wednesday may cause more Californians to think about buying earthquake insurance, but the 6.8-magnitude shaker shouldn't otherwise affect policies or rates here, insurance officials said.
NEWS
July 2, 2012 | By Jon Healey
The big news for California homeowners Monday was the Legislature voting to bar lenders from moving ahead with foreclosures while they were negotiating with borrowers over an alternative, such as a modified mortgage with lower monthly payments. The millions of borrowers who aren't defaulting, however, may be more pleased by a less-heralded development: the California Earthquake Authority's announcement of lower-cost options for quake insurance. The new offerings are one of several efforts by the authority to persuade more people to carry coverage.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 2001 | STEVE HARVEY
Famous after-Shockneks: It was almost 14 years ago, but it remains one of the most dramatic moments in the annals of local TV coverage. When the Whittier Narrows quake struck one morning in 1987, anchor Kent Shocknek jumped under his desk while on the air. Shocknek, then at KNBC Channel 4, said the brief incident has been wildly exaggerated since then. He told the media Web site ronfineman.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 1995
My eyes widened with disbelief while I read state Sen. John R. Lewis' letter (May 29) regarding his pending earthquake insurance bill. As "refugees" of 20th Century Insurance Co.'s exit from the homeowners and earthquake insurance business, our earthquake coverage terminated on April 28 (we have yet another year with their homeowners coverage before that goes away, too). Since March, I have been trying to find 10% earthquake coverage (like we've had for years) for this 1-year-old house.
BUSINESS
March 28, 2011 | Marc Lifsher
The massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan will cost insurance companies billions of dollars. In seismically active California, though, just 12% of homes with fire insurance also have earthquake coverage, according to the California Earthquake Authority. The authority, an independent government agency created by the state Legislature in 1996, is the largest of a handful of insurers that sell earthquake coverage in the Golden State. Here's a look at some key facts about earthquake insurance.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 23, 1994
Contributing to the Ventura County earthquake coverage last week were Times staff reporters Fred Alvarez, Dwayne Bray, Sara Catania, Tina Daunt, Daryl Kelley, Peggy Y. Lee, Christina Lima, Carlos V. Lozano, Jeff Meyers, Joanna M. Miller, Mack Reed, Stephanie Simon, Constance Sommer and Tracy Wilson. Also contributing were correspondents Maia Davis, Brenda Day, Julie Fields, Scott Hadly, James Maiella Jr., Patrick McCartney, Jeff McDonald, J.E. Mitchell, Matthew Mosk and Kay Saillant.
REAL ESTATE
June 18, 1989 | DAVID M. KINCHEN, Times Staff Writer
If last week's twin earthquakesjogged you into thinking aboutthe quake insurance you probably don't have, here is a quick primer on the subject, gleaned from insurance agents and industry sources. Quake insurance is offered only in conjunction with an existing homeowners insurance policy, according to Jim David of the Melrose Insurance Agency of West Hollywood. Even though rates for earthquake insurance vary widely among companies, unless you change your insurer, you will have to accept their established rate.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 3, 1994
"Some Leadership in the Home Insurance Mess," editorial, Sept. 11: New claims may be only part of the household insurance problem. I recently received a letter stating that my insurer of eight years was going to cancel my standard policy because of "evidence of lack in pride of ownership and poor housekeeping." They sent an inspector out a month ago, at a time when most of us were still undergoing recovery. My house had been completely repaired and upgraded at that time, yet they still plan to cancel my policy.
BUSINESS
March 28, 2011 | Marc Lifsher
The massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan will cost insurance companies billions of dollars. In seismically active California, though, just 12% of homes with fire insurance also have earthquake coverage, according to the California Earthquake Authority. The authority, an independent government agency created by the state Legislature in 1996, is the largest of a handful of insurers that sell earthquake coverage in the Golden State. Here's a look at some key facts about earthquake insurance.
OPINION
March 19, 2011
The earthquakes that devastated Christchurch, New Zealand, and northern Japan in quick succession have prompted many California homeowners to bolt their houses to the foundations and stock up on emergency supplies. But the ultimate in protection for their homes ? earthquake insurance ? remains unappealing to the vast majority of state residents. A new bill (S 637) sponsored by the state's two U.S. senators could help remedy that by slashing the cost of coverage. It may be hard for other lawmakers, whose constituents live far from the San Andreas fault, to see why the federal government should get involved.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 30, 2008 | STEVE LOPEZ
They say there was an earthquake Tuesday morning, but if I hadn't felt it myself I wouldn't have believed it. As soon as the floor stopped rolling I drove out to Chino Hills, the quake's epicenter, so I could chronicle the devastation. But I found no panic in the streets. No fires. No crumpled buildings. A guard at the Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace in Yorba Linda told me the place was closed because of some unspecified damage. Twelve-year-olds John Horner and Sally Salter were happy to have an empty parking lot to ride their scooters, and Sally said yeah, it was a pretty good shaker, but earthquakes don't scare her. All of this is my way of explaining how I happened to end up at Tubby's Tavern in Whittier midday, throwing the company credit card down on the bar and ordering drinks for one and all, courtesy of Sam Zell.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 2001 | STEVE HARVEY
Famous after-Shockneks: It was almost 14 years ago, but it remains one of the most dramatic moments in the annals of local TV coverage. When the Whittier Narrows quake struck one morning in 1987, anchor Kent Shocknek jumped under his desk while on the air. Shocknek, then at KNBC Channel 4, said the brief incident has been wildly exaggerated since then. He told the media Web site ronfineman.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2001 | LIZ PULLIAM WESTON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The temblor that hit the Seattle area Wednesday may cause more Californians to think about buying earthquake insurance, but the 6.8-magnitude shaker shouldn't otherwise affect policies or rates here, insurance officials said.
BUSINESS
February 25, 2000 | LIZ PULLIAM WESTON
Only 17% of California's homeowners have earthquake insurance. Are the rest in denial--or making a rational choice? Some financial planners suggest the latter. They say that the majority of California homeowners are opting out after weighing the relatively remote chance of a temblor destroying their homes against the high cost of today's earthquake coverage. But we don't buy insurance coverage just to protect us from likely occurrences.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 2, 1999
Thanks for Ken Reich's Aug. 26 earthquake column, but why do we only get them when there has been an earthquake? As a townhouse owner, I have tried getting information about the possibilities of federal earthquake coverage since John Garamendi was state insurance commissioner. I had no luck with his office, none with insurance companies (naturally) and none with Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles). It seems that, as usual, the American voter stays at home until something happens to his wallet.
BUSINESS
August 2, 1998 | LIZ PULLIAM, TIMES STAFF WRITER; Liz Pulliam covers insurance, banking and personal finance. She can be reached by e-mail at liz.pulliam@latimes.com
Like pressure building invisibly along an earthquake fault, a crisis is mounting for homeowners who won't have enough insurance to cover their losses in a fire, earthquake or other catastrophe. Major insurance companies have quietly slashed their policyholders' coverage in recent years, raising deductibles, lowering caps and, perhaps most important, doing away with guaranteed-replacement coverage that promised to rebuild a damaged home regardless of the cost.
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