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CEA Homeowners Earthquake Insurance Policies

Is your customer’s house ready for the next earthquake? 

CEA homeowners earthquake insurance policies provide your customers with the strength they need to recover from a damaging earthquake.  

Talk to your customer about the CEA earthquake-coverage options that fit their needs and budget. And use our premium calculator to help get them a quick earthquake insurance price estimate. 

Did you know?

A standard homeowners policy doesn’t cover earthquake damage.

A CEA earthquake insurance policy can help pay for damages to your customer’s house or belongings.

CEA homeowners coverage options* 

Home (dwelling) -

Home (dwelling)

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Can be purchased alone or with other coverages. Covers earthquake damage to your customer's house and structures attached to it, like a garage.
Personal Property -

Personal Property

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Coverage to repair or replace your customer's covered personal belongings if they are damaged in an earthquake.
Loss of Use -

Loss of Use

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A necessity for additional living expenses if your customer must live outside their unit because of earthquake damage or as directed by a civil authority. This coverage never has a deductible.
Building Code Upgrade -

Building Code Upgrade

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Rebuilding after an earthquake generally must be done to current building-code standards—this coverage helps with the added costs.
Emergency Repairs -

Emergency Repairs

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Handy coverage when your customer needs to make urgent, necessary repairs after an earthquake to help protect their house from further damage, such as plywood to board up damaged windows. The first $1,500 has no deductible.
Breakables -


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Useful coverage if glassware, crystal, china, ceramic, pottery, porcelain, or marble items are broken because of an earthquake.
Exterior Masonry Veneer -

Exterior Masonry Veneer

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Coverage for earthquake damage to certain exterior veneers like brick, concrete, stone, tile, or similar material attached as ornamentation.

Ready to sell a CEA policy?

*We encourage you to read the entire CEA policy—and its policy declarations page—to understand coverages and how they work. Exclusions and special limits apply. All terms and conditions of CEA insurance coverage are found in the CEA insurance-policy form. Refer to a sample policy, below.  

Homeowners Choice Policy Sample (PDF)
Standard Homeowners Policy Sample (PDF)
Optional Endorsement - Coverage For Breakables (PDF)
Optional Endorsement - Coverage For Exterior Masonry Veneer (PDF)

Learn more by taking a free agent training course. Once you pass, you’ll earn 2 CE credits and become part of our special Marketing Value Program!

Homeowners FAQs

We've gathered some frequently asked questions from homeowners and agents to help you understand how a CEA policy can help your customer recover from the next damaging earthquake.
Q. Are there any discounts for homeowners?

A. If the insured's qualifying home was built before 1980 and has been seismically retrofitted, they may qualify for up to a 25% premium discount with a retrofit verification.

Learn more about our program—Earthquake Brace + Bolt (EBB) —that offer grants of up to $3,000 to help pay for a seismic retrofit. The CEA BB program is specifically offered to current CEA policyholders.

Q. How can I help my homeowner client choose the best CEA earthquake policy for their needs and budget?
A. Use CEA’s premium calculator for agents to help your client find a policy that works best for them. You can play around with coverage limits and deductible options, and talk them through their coverage choices (such as all coverages bundled together under one deductible or separated out for our Homeowners Choice policy) to make sure they have the policy that fits their needs.
Q. How does the deductible work for CEA’s homeowners policies?

A. The insured does not have to pay their deductible out of pocket to receive payment on a claim. The deductible is subtracted from their covered damage, so they don’t have to pay any of the deductible up front before receiving their claim payment. 

Both standard Homeowners and Homeowners Choice offer deductibles ranging from 5-25%. With the standard policy, all of the insured coverages are together under one deductible. With Homeowners Choice, they can choose to have separate deductibles for their dwelling and personal property. And if earthquake damage meets the dwelling deductible, the personal property deductible is waived.

Q. Is my client’s house at risk from an earthquake?
A. There are thousands of known faults in California, and scientists continue to discover new ones. Since earthquakes can happen anywhere in California, damage to your client’s home and personal property is always possible. Check to see earthquake risk near you and your client and help them take steps to get prepared, which includes purchasing the best earthquake policy to meet their needs and budget.
Q. Why should I urge my client to retrofit their older house?

A. California has two-thirds of our nation's earthquake risk. Structures that lack adequate sill plate bolting and cripple-wall bracing are more susceptible to earthquake damage.

The frames of older houses are often not bolted to their foundations, and their cripple walls may lack bracing. Houses without adequate bolting and bracing can slide or topple off their foundation during an earthquake, requiring potentially very expensive repairs. But this serious damage can be prevented with a proper seismic retrofit.

Your client may be eligible for financial help to pay for their house's retrofit. Learn more about our program—Earthquake Brace + Bolt—that offer grants of up to $3,000 to help pay for a seismic retrofit.

CEA policyholders with properly retrofitted houses are eligible for a discount of up to 25% off their CEA policy premium.

Q. Can my customers buy a new CEA earthquake insurance policy after an earthquake?

A. Yes. CEA has never imposed a moratorium on selling new earthquake insurance policies following any earthquake, even in the areas directly affected by the earthquake.*

If your customers choose to purchase a new CEA earthquake insurance policy shortly after the occurrence of an earthquake in their area, and if there are aftershocks or other quakes that are related to that same earthquake, then you should help make them aware that their new CEA policy will not cover losses from these aftershocks or other related ground-shaking that occurs within 15 days (360 hours) after that earthquake, though would cover damage from completely unrelated earthquakes that may occur immediately after they purchase their policy. That original earthquake, together with all related shaking that occurs within 15 days, are collectively referred to as the "seismic event" in the CEA policy. In other words, the "seismic event" commences upon the initial earthquake, and all earthquakes or aftershocks that occur within the 360 hours (15 days) immediately following the initial earthquake are considered for purposes of this policy to be part of the same "seismic event."

For a loss to be covered under a CEA policy, both the original earthquake that caused the loss (to your customer’s property or belongings) and the 15-day "seismic event" that the earthquake is part of must commence during the policy period.

If, however, another earthquake occurs after the new policy goes into effect, and that earthquake is not seismically related to the earlier earthquake (not part of the earlier “seismic event”), then your customer’s losses from this new earthquake would be covered, even if they occurred immediately after the effective date of the policy, because those losses would arise from a different seismic event.

If you have customers who are current policyholders and they have experienced damage from a covered seismic event, and another quake occurs as part of the same event (for example, with the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake, when a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck and the next day a 7.1 magnitude struck, as part of the same seismic event), our 360-hour definition allows current policyholders to combine all the damage to meet their deductible. In other words, they do not need to meet their deductible each time; they only need to meet it once.

*It is possible, however, that one or more CEA participating insurers, as well as other insurance companies, may declare a moratorium on new sales of their own insurance policies (e.g., homeowners, condominium owners, or renters insurance that covers the risk of fire) in the affected area after an earthquake or other disaster. We recommend you be aware if your company has issued a moratorium on the policy types they offer following recent earthquakes or other disasters.

Q. My homeowner client says they can't afford the earthquake policy’s deductible. What can I tell them?

A. Remind your client that they do not have to pay their deductible out of pocket to receive payment on a claim. The deductible is simply subtracted from their total covered damage amount, and then CEA pays the full amount of their covered loss up to the applicable coverage limit. The policyholder doesn’t have to pay any of the deductible up front before receiving their claim payment. And, of course, it’s worth noting that while the CEA has a policy deductible ranging from 5% to 25%, for those who don’t purchase earthquake insurance, they essentially have a deductible of 100%!

Both standard Homeowners and Homeowners Choice offer the same range of deductibles (5% to 25%). With the standard policy, all of your insured’s coverages are together under one deductible. With Choice, they can choose to have separate deductibles for their dwelling and personal property. And if earthquake damage meets the dwelling deductible under Choice, the personal property deductible is waived.

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