Find Cheap Homeowners Insurance Quotes in Your Area
California homeowners need earthquake insurance if they want full protection, as damage from earthquakes is not covered by homeowners insurance. Earthquake insurance costs an average of $3.54 per thousand dollars of coverage in California, which translates into an annual premium of $1,770 for a single family home with a $500,000 replacement cost. However, depending on which insurer you choose, premiums can cost as little as 10 cents per thousand dollars of coverage to as much as $15 per thousand dollars of coverage.
Earthquake insurance rates in California by city
Earthquakes are expected to cause $6.1 billion worth of damage annually. Between 2010 and 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey recorded 1,545 earthquakes in the state of California that registered at or above a magnitude 3.
Earthquake premiums vary by location. The closer your house is to a fault line in California, the higher your premium, reflecting the greater probability of earthquake damage and the resulting higher cost to protect your assets.
We analyzed how much it costs to protect your home with earthquake insurance premiums from 34 insurance providers across 30 cities distributed geographically throughout the Golden State.
Average coverage rate
Average annual cost for $500,000 of coverage
|Big Bear Lake||$3.41||$1,704|
|Fresno - Biola Junction||$2.47||$1,235|
Rates are per thousand dollars of coverage.
Residents in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Echo Park, Silver Lake and El Sereno tend to see cheaper premiums for earthquake coverage. Residents in Mar Vista, Culver City and West Los Angeles typically pay higher premiums for the same coverage.
With the San Andreas tectonic zone and hundreds of smaller active faults, the county is estimated to have a 60% chance of an earthquake with a magnitude of at least 6.7 in the next three decades, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The cost of protection against earthquakes ranges from $2.90 to $3.09 per thousand dollars of coverage in San Diego. For $758,000 of dwelling coverage — the median home price in San Diego — the annual premium is estimated to be between $2,199 and $2,342.
Home to over 1.4 million residents — and the Rose Canyon, Elsinore and San Jacinto fault lines — the city also has a 75% chance of a magnitude 7.0 or greater earthquake in the next 30 years, according to the California Earthquake Authority (CEA). The organization estimates that 45% of residential buildings would be damaged by an earthquake of this magnitude.
Insuring a single-family house in San Francisco against earthquakes could cost anywhere from $4.08 to $4.58 per thousand dollars of coverage. The Mission neighborhood ranks on the cheaper end, while Nob Hill residents tend to see rates on the higher end of the range.
Assuming coverage for a median home price of $1.3 million, rates could be close to $6,000 a year.
With the San Andreas and Hayward faults running through the greater Bay Area, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates that there's a 72% likelihood that an earthquake of at least a 6.7 magnitude will strike in the next 30 years.
How much do earthquake insurance costs vary by insurer?
The average cost by earthquake insurer ranged from 10 cents to $15 per thousand dollars of coverage for a single-family house in California. Estimated annual premiums range from $50 to $7,500 for coverage limits of $500,000, illustrating the importance of comparing quotes.
The graph below ranks companies based on their coverage cost per thousand dollars, starting with the most affordable. The quote you receive may vary based on the characteristics of your house, including its foundation, number of stories and year built. This graph also does not include carriers like Allstate, State Farm or USAA, which refer to the California Earthquake Authority to calculate rates.
The companies with the three lowest earthquake insurance rates were Cincinnati Insurance Co., Privilege Underwriters Exchange and AIG, with average rates ranging from 10 cents to $1.30 for each thousand dollars of coverage.
On the other hand, the three companies charging the highest rates were Aegis Security, American Modern and Pacific Specialty. These insurers quoted rates that were 16 to 150 times higher than the cheapest competitors. For these pricier carriers, rates were fairly consistent and were not greatly affected by whether a homeowner lived in a low-risk or a high-risk area for tremors.
How much earthquake insurance should I buy?
What is the deductible on an earthquake insurance policy?
What is the California Earthquake Authority (CEA)?
Does car insurance cover earthquake damage?
Is there earthquake insurance for renters?
Does earthquake insurance cover tsunamis?
We analyzed sample earthquake premiums submitted by insurance companies to the California Department of Insurance. The sample included 57 companies, and actual rate samples were submitted by 35 carriers. Twenty-two carriers were excluded because they did not provide actual rates and referenced the California Earthquake Authority for rates calculations, or their earthquake insurance was underwritten by another company included in our list. Rates that were substantially higher than the majority of the quotes provided were excluded.
All rates are listed per thousand dollars of coverage. To determine your rate estimate, take the amount of coverage you need, divide it by a thousand and multiply it by the estimated rate. For example, if you need $800,000 of coverage, calculate: $800,000 / $1,000 for $800, multiplied by the study average coverage rate of $3.54, for an estimated $2,832 annual premium. The actual quote and premium you'll pay may differ and depend on where your house is located and what kind of house it is.