Small Southern California Earthquake Did Significant Damage

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  • In late March, a relatively small earthquake hit the greater Los Angeles area and barely registered on many residents’ radars as being particularly problematic. However, it seems that the fallout from the event was nonetheless quite costly, and underscored the importance of having home insurance coverage that specifically covers incidents that their areas are more likely to suffer. For this reason, it might be helpful for insurance agents to do all in their power to convince homeowners that the added cost of such policies can often go a long way toward helping them financially in the long run.

    A March 28 earthquake in Southern California, which registered at 5.1 on the Richter scale, didn’t raise a lot of eyebrows from Angelenos or insurance companies, but it nonetheless did significant damage overall, according to a report from the Insurance Journal based on data from Karen Clark and Co. In all, more than $100 million in damages ended up being reported, ranging from toppled chimneys to broken glass and cracked walls.

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    However, while the damage was considered “relatively minor” overall, it seemed to do one positive thing for residents: Prompt them to seek earthquake insurance coverage for the future, the report said. The California Earthquake Authority reported that sales of those policies increased in the wake of the March seismic event nearly as much as they did when the far larger disastrous quake hit Japan slightly more than three years prior. Nonetheless, a relatively small percentage of Californians still have this coverage overall, and this event clearly outlines that this fact could present major problems even if an earthquake of just about any size were to strike their local areas.

    While the big focus in the industry these days seems to be on pricing first and foremost, insurance agents should generally strive to provide consumers with top-quality customer service, and highlighting the need for earthquake, tornado, or hurricane coverage when there’s a specific risk could help with that. That’s because polls generally show that people who are happy with their relationships with their agents are less likely to shop around for new coverage than those who are satisfied with prices overall. However, being able to strike the right balance between these two issues could result in maximum customer retention rates, and potentially even new business.

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