Experts Continue to Urge Californians to Take on Earthquake Insurance

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  • These days, millions of people across the country are at risk for various types of incidents that could do significant damage to their home – such as an earthquake, flood, tornado, or hurricane – but don’t have all the necessary coverage to adequately protect them financially if such an event were to occur. For this reason, it might be wise for insurance agents to talk to their clients regularly about the kinds of hazards they might face simply because of where their properties are located, as well as what their current plans do and don’t cover with regard to damage from those issues. This can often lead to the consumers tacking on additional coverage to make sure they’re protected going forward.

    After the recent earthquake in Napa Valley, California, data showed that only about 5 percent of residents there had any kind of quake coverage attached to their home insurance policies, according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle. In fact, the state’s California Earthquake Authority found that of the 856,000 policyholders it had in the area who reported “moderate to strong shaking,” only 15,000 had such coverage for their properties.

    So what’s the problem?
    While some experts say that the issue is simply that people don’t want to take on yet another insurance expense in their lives – even if it’s important and a risk factor – others believe that people in the state are actually wary of the CEA’s ability to pay out claims when damage strikes, the report said. However, it seems that for the most part, there’s no reason that this should be a concern.

    “I don’t think any homeowners should resist buying earthquake insurance because they are afraid of the CEA not being able to pay claims,” Doug Heller, an independent insurance expert, told the newspaper. “The CEA is in good shape.”

    Insurance agents who regularly discuss coverage-related issues with their clients will also likely have the ability to build a stronger working relationship with them overall, and that, in turn, can often be extremely valuable. In general, consumers actually say they like having a good rapport with their agents, often more so than simply being able to reduce their costs by finding the occasional discounts for which they might be eligible. For this reason, agents who can successfully do both will likely have the highest rates of customer retention, and possibly even attract new clients down the road.