How Much Does Earthquake Insurance Cost in California?

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Earthquakes are expected to cause $6.1 billion worth of damage annually, according to FEMA, with exposure in California accounting for an estimated 61% of those losses. The best financial protection against this risk is earthquake insurance, and below we detail how much earthquake insurance costs across 255 major cities and 59 counties in the Golden State.

Earthquake Insurance Rates by City in California

Based on where you live, insuring a single-family house can cost from $2.50 to $5.50 per thousand dollars of coverage (or $1,248 to $2,744 annually for $500,000 of coverage). As expected, the closer your house is to a fault line in California, the higher your premiums will be, reflecting the higher probability of earthquake damage and the resulting higher cost to protect your assets. California homeowners will need earthquake insurance if they want to be fully covered as damage from earthquakes is not covered by homeowners insurance.

CityAverage coverage rateAverage annual cost for $500,000 of coverage
Adelanto$3.40$1,684
Alameda$5.50$2,744
Alhambra$3.70$1,851
Altadena$4.00$1,979
Alturas$2.60$1,298
Anaheim - Brookhurst Center$3.70$1,852
Anaheim - Federal$3.60$1,812
Antioch$3.60$1,790
Azusa$4.10$2,071
Bakersfield - Kern City$3.00$1,519
Bakersfield - Panama$3.20$1,600
Baldwin Park$4.10$2,072
Banning$4.00$1,981
Barstow$2.90$1,458
Bell$3.70$1,870
Bellflower$3.80$1,886
Berkeley$4.40$2,198
Big Bear Lake$3.50$1,727
Bishop$3.30$1,638
Buena Park$3.90$1,951
Burbank$4.10$2,029
Calexico$4.90$2,428
Camarillo$4.10$2,062
Campbell$4.30$2,138
Canoga Park$4.30$2,161
Canyon Country$3.90$1,930
Carlsbad$2.80$1,385
Carmichael$2.50$1,251
Carson$3.70$1,826
Cathedral City$4.10$2,026
Cerritos$3.80$1,908
Chatsworth$3.90$1,955
Chico$2.50$1,248
Chino$4.30$2,154
Chino Hills$3.60$1,825
Chula Vista$3.10$1,528
City$2.50$1,251
Clovis$2.50$1,254
Colton$4.60$2,311
Colusa$2.60$1,286
Compton$4.00$1,977
Concord$4.50$2,272
Corona$3.80$1,882
Costa Mesa$3.40$1,703
Crescent City$2.90$1,467
Culver City$3.70$1,860
Cupertino$4.00$2,015
Daly City$4.10$2,029
Davis$2.60$1,275
Del Mar$2.80$1,403
Delano$2.90$1,441
Desert Hot Springs$3.90$1,971
East Palo Alto$4.70$2,355
El Cajon$2.70$1,349
El Centro$5.10$2,528
El Segundo$3.60$1,825
Encinitas$2.80$1,385
Escondido$2.70$1,349
Eureka - Carson Park$3.90$1,951
Eureka - Pine Hill$4.00$1,981
Fair Oaks$2.50$1,251
Fairfield$3.60$1,798
Fallbrook$2.70$1,360
Folsom$2.50$1,251
Fontana$4.30$2,142
Fountain Valley$3.90$1,946
Fremont$5.30$2,627
Fresno$2.50$1,254
Fruitridge$2.50$1,251
Fullerton$3.70$1,860
Garden Grove$3.70$1,850
Gardena$3.60$1,822
Glendale$3.60$1,807
Glendora$4.20$2,103
Grass Valley$2.50$1,268
Greenhaven$2.50$1,251
Hanford$2.50$1,251
Hawthorne$3.60$1,821
Hayward$4.50$2,268
Hemet$4.30$2,143
Hesperia$3.50$1,762
Hollister$3.70$1,874
Hollywood-West$3.50$1,748
Huntington Beach$3.90$1,937
Huntington Park$3.70$1,867
Indio$4.70$2,325
Inglewood$3.60$1,796
Irvine$3.30$1,673
Jamestown$2.60$1,303
LA - Central$3.70$1,870
LA - East$3.60$1,787
LA - Echo Park & Silver Lake$3.50$1,767
LA - El Sereno$3.50$1,772
LA - Griffith$3.70$1,833
LA - Highland Park$3.60$1,811
LA - Mar Vista & Culver City$4.00$1,989
LA - Mid-City$3.70$1,828
LA - South Central$3.60$1,787
LA - Vermont$3.70$1,826
LA - Wagner$3.60$1,791
LA - West$4.00$2,013
LA - Westchester$3.60$1,785
LA - Wilshire & La Brea$3.80$1,883
La Habra$3.50$1,747
La Mesa$2.80$1,421
La Puente$4.10$2,055
Laguna Beach$3.00$1,508
Laguna Niguel$3.00$1,513
Lake Elsinore$3.40$1,705
Lake Forest$2.90$1,446
Lakeport$3.00$1,480
Lakeside$2.70$1,349
Lakewood$3.60$1,804
Lancaster$4.40$2,180
Lewiston$2.60$1,298
Lincoln$2.50$1,248
Livermore$3.60$1,823
Lompoc$3.00$1,522
Long Beach$4.00$1,975
Loyalton$2.70$1,341
Madera$2.50$1,248
Mammoth Lakes$3.00$1,494
Mariposa$2.60$1,278
Marysville$2.50$1,275
Mckinleyville$3.90$1,926
Merced$2.50$1,251
Merkleeville$2.80$1,389
Mill Valley$3.60$1,822
Mira Mesa$2.80$1,383
Mission Viejo$2.90$1,446
Modesto$2.50$1,259
Monrovia$4.10$2,033
Montebello$3.50$1,768
Monterey$3.00$1,481
Moreno Valley$4.00$1,981
Murrieta$3.40$1,711
Napa$3.20$1,620
National City$3.20$1,596
Newport Beach$3.40$1,715
Northridge - 91325$4.60$2,277
Northridge - 91326$4.00$1,976
Norwalk$3.90$1,943
Oakland - Piedmont$4.20$2,098
Oakland - San Leandro$4.30$2,145
Ocean Beach$3.20$1,582
Oceanside$2.80$1,385
Ontario$3.80$1,920
Orange$3.60$1,775
Orland$2.60$1,278
Oxnard - Northwest$4.10$2,068
Oxnard - South$4.50$2,226
Pacific Beach$3.30$1,664
Pacific Palisades$3.50$1,730
Pacifica$3.90$1,964
Pacoima$4.60$2,317
Palmdale$4.60$2,287
Palos Verdes$3.40$1,719
Panorama City$4.10$2,066
Park$3.60$1,812
Pasadena$3.90$1,962
Paso Robles$2.80$1,416
Perris$3.40$1,687
Petaluma$4.70$2,329
Pico Rivera$3.90$1,933
Pioneer$2.50$1,275
Placentia$3.70$1,870
Placerville$2.50$1,275
Pomona$4.30$2,162
Porterville$2.50$1,254
Poway$2.70$1,349
Quincy$2.60$1,279
Ramona$2.70$1,353
Rancho Bernardo$2.70$1,349
Rancho Cucamonga$4.40$2,188
Rancho Palos Verde$3.50$1,729
Red Bluff$2.50$1,248
Redding$2.50$1,251
Redland$4.60$2,310
Redondo Beach$3.60$1,822
Redwood City$4.20$2,094
Reedley$2.50$1,254
Reseda$4.20$2,115
Richmond$4.90$2,457
Ridgecrest$2.90$1,458
Riverside$3.40$1,717
Rosemead$3.70$1,840
Roseville$2.50$1,248
Running Springs$3.60$1,815
Sacramento$2.50$1,251
Salinas$3.90$1,939
San Bernardino$5.00$2,477
San Clemente$2.90$1,462
San Diego - 92105$2.90$1,461
San Diego - 92154$3.10$1,555
San Francisco - Glen Park$4.10$2,069
San Francisco - Mission$4.00$2,010
San Francisco - Nob Hill$4.40$2,207
San Francisco - Sunset District$4.30$2,163
San Jose$4.30$2,152
San Jose - Campbell$4.20$2,109
San Luis Obispo$2.90$1,426
San Marcos$2.70$1,353
San Mateo$4.30$2,128
San Pedro$3.50$1,760
San Rafael$4.10$2,046
Santa Ana - Centennial Park$3.70$1,837
Santa Ana - Logan Park$3.50$1,746
Santa Barbara - Downtown$3.40$1,686
Santa Barbara - El Sueno$3.50$1,751
Santa Clara$4.20$2,119
Santa Clarita$3.70$1,858
Santa Cruz$3.40$1,707
Santa Maria$3.10$1,567
Santa Monica$3.80$1,886
Santa Rosa$3.80$1,887
Seaside$3.10$1,566
Simi Valley$3.70$1,842
Sonora$2.60$1,276
South Gate$3.70$1,867
South Lake Tahoe$2.60$1,281
Spring Valley$2.80$1,378
Stanton$3.70$1,874
Stockton$2.50$1,261
Suisun City$3.70$1,852
Sunnyvale$4.40$2,210
Susanville$2.60$1,314
Sylmar$4.30$2,152
Temecula$3.60$1,810
Temple City$3.90$1,930
Thousand Oaks$3.40$1,700
Torrance$3.60$1,776
Tracy$2.60$1,292
Turlock$2.50$1,259
Tustin$3.60$1,789
Twentynine Palms$3.00$1,479
Ukiah$3.50$1,735
Union City$5.20$2,613
Upland$4.10$2,063
Vacaville$3.20$1,594
Vallejo$3.90$1,972
Valley Spring$2.50$1,248
Van Nuys$4.30$2,170
Victorville$3.50$1,754
Visalia$2.50$1,248
Walnut Creek$4.00$2,002
Wasco$3.00$1,494
Watsonville$4.50$2,271
West Covina$4.10$2,060
Westminster$3.80$1,879
Willits$3.40$1,684
Woodland$2.60$1,278
Woodland Hills$4.00$2,019
Yorba Linda$3.50$1,765
Yreka$2.50$1,275
Yucaipa$4.20$2,103
Total$3.50$1,748
Rates are per thousand dollars of coverage

Los Angeles

Residents in the LA neighborhoods of Echo Park, Silver Lake and El Sereno tended to see cheaper premiums for earthquake coverage. Mar Vista, Culver City and West LA would typically have to pay higher premiums for the same coverage. In general, the average cost was $3.70 per thousand dollars of coverage (that's $2,960 per year for a house dwelling coverage of $800,000, ranging as low as $3.50 and as a high as $4 per thousand). With the San Andreas tectonic zone and hundreds of smaller active faults, the county is estimated to have a 75% chance of an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0+ in the next three decades.

San Diego

The cost of protection against earthquakes ranges from $2.90 to $3.10 per thousand dollars of coverage in San Diego. For $575,000 of coverage (the median home price in San Diego), the annual premium is estimated to be $1,725. Home to over 1.4 million residents, the Rose Canyon, Elsinore and San Jacinto fault lines, the city also has a 75% chance of a magnitude 7.0+ earthquake in the next 30 years according the California Earthquake Authority (CEA). Although Los Angeles has a similar probability of a major earthquake event, earthquake insurance rates are much lower than in San Diego.

San Francisco

Insuring a single-family house in San Francisco against earthquakes could cost anywhere from $4 to $4.40 per thousand dollars of coverage. The Mission area 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 single-family home priced at $1.6 million, rates could go over $6,000 a year. With the San Andreas and the Hayward faults running through the greater Bay Area, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates there's a 98% likelihood that the next 30 years will have an earthquake of 6.0+ magnitude.

Earthquake Insurance Premiums by County in California

If your city isn't listed in the table above, here are the averages by county from our data source. Counties like Calaveras, Tehama, Butte, Madera and Placer ranked on the lower end, with an average cost of $2.50 per $1,000 of coverage. Imperial County ranked as having the highest average cost, at $5 per $1,000 of coverage. Alameda and Santa Clara counties had the second and third highest premiums.

CountyAverage coverage rateAverage annual cost for $500,000 coverage
Alameda$4.60$2,311
Alpine$2.80$1,389
Amador$2.50$1,275
Butte$2.50$1,248
Calaveras$2.50$1,248
Colusa$2.60$1,286
Contra Costa$4.30$2,127
Del Norte$2.90$1,467
El Dorado$2.60$1,278
Fresno$2.50$1,254
Glenn$2.60$1,278
Humboldt$3.90$1,952
Imperial$5.00$2,479
Inyo$3.30$1,638
Kern$3.00$1,503
Kings$2.50$1,251
Lake$3.00$1,480
Lassen$2.60$1,314
Los Angeles$3.90$1,926
Madera$2.50$1,248
Marin$3.90$1,932
Mariposa$2.60$1,278
Mendocino$3.40$1,710
Merced$2.50$1,251
Modoc$2.60$1,298
Mono$3.00$1,494
Monterey$3.30$1,662
Nan$2.90$1,426
Napa$3.20$1,620
Nevada$2.50$1,268
Orange$3.50$1,748
Placer$2.50$1,248
Plumas$2.60$1,279
Riverside$3.80$1,895
Sacramento$2.50$1,251
San Benito$3.70$1,874
San Bernardino$3.90$1,950
San Diego$2.90$1,426
San Francisco$4.20$2,112
San Joaquin$2.50$1,268
San Luis Obispo$2.80$1,416
San Mateo$4.10$2,054
Santa Barbara$3.30$1,632
Santa Clara$4.30$2,157
Santa Cruz$4.00$1,985
Shasta$2.50$1,251
Sierra$2.70$1,341
Siskiyou$2.50$1,275
Solano$3.70$1,831
Sonoma$4.10$2,035
Stanislaus$2.50$1,259
Sutter$2.50$1,251
Tehama$2.50$1,248
Trinity$2.60$1,298
Tulare$2.50$1,251
Tuolumne$2.60$1,290
Ventura$4.00$1,981
Yolo$2.60$1,277
Yuba$2.50$1,275
Total$3.50$1,748
Rates are per thousand dollars of coverage

How Much Does Earthquake Insurance Cost Vary by Insurer?

The average by earthquake insurer ranged from $0.60 to $15 per thousand dollars of coverage for a single family house in California. Estimated annual premiums would range from $300 to over $7,000 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 will 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.

Earthquake Insurance Rates

The companies with the three lowest earthquake insurance rates were Privilege Underwriters Exchange, Cincinnati Insurance Co. and Chubb/Federal, with average rates ranging from $0.60 to $1 for each $1,000 of coverage you need. 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 seven to 15 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.

Methodology

We analyzed sample earthquake premiums submitted by insurance companies to the California Department of Insurance to develop the tables and graphs above. 52 companies were surveyed, and actual rate samples were submitted by 33 carriers. Twenty-one carriers were excluded because they did not provide actual rates and referenced the California Earthquake Authority for rates calculations or were closely affiliated companies with the same rates. This resulted in the list of 31 carriers highlighted in our graph above.

All rates are listed per thousand dollars of coverage for illustrative purposes. Take the amount of coverage you need, divide it by a thousand and multiply it by the estimated rate for a rate approximation. For example, if you need $800,000 of coverage, that will be: $800,000 / $1,000 for $800, multiplied by the study average coverage rate of $3.50 for an estimated proxy of $2,800 in annual premiums. The actual quote and premium you'll ultimately pay will differ and depend on where your house is located and what kind of house it is.

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