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By Stuart Soffer

Debating Earthquake Insurance

Uploaded: Jan 5, 2015

Whenever we receive a renewal statement for earthquake coverage it's a cause for wrestling whether or not to renew ? damned if I do and damned if I don't. I've been skeptical of the California Earthquake Authority, which in my mind is a CALPERS-like bureaucracy, wondering whether it could meet its obligations in the event of a tragedy.

Amongst all the types of insurance we routinely need ? health, automobile, house ? the importance and likelihood of need wasn't in the same primary category. For example, lenders require fire insurance on the house ? but not earthquake.

High deductibles on top of high premiums really limit benefit.

As a side note to my discussion of our remodel, when the city required some additional earthquake retrofitting as a consequence of extending a portion of a wall, this led to a discussion with our contractor on whether it not it was worth continuing earthquake insurance coverage. His feelings were that as a single-story house, given all the modifications whose stability was hydraulically tested, that the house wasn't going anyplace. But still.

So my questions for comment are:

Do you purchase earthquake coverage?
What are the considerations in your decision?
Have you ever needed to make a claim for coverage?