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CEA’s Rating Changes & the Science Behind Them

With CEA’s new rate and form filing effective July 1, 2019, CDI approved changes to CEA’s policy. These changes were made because CEA is required to base our rates on the best available science, and a new study was released that changed previously understood risk factors for earthquakes in California.

Understanding the Science Behind the Rating Changes

UCERF3 (Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast), a new earthquake fault zone and risk study, was released by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in 2015.

In California, the Working Group on California Earthquake Probabilities (WGCEP) is responsible for developing statewide, time-dependent earthquake rupture forecasts for California that use best available science. These forecasts are endorsed by the USGS, the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC), and the California Geological Survey (CGS). These models are referred to as the Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecasts (UCERFs). The WGCEP is responsible for developing UCERFs using the best available science.

The latest earthquake fault zone and risk study, UCERF3, was released by USGS in 2015. The UCERF3 study:

  • Changes previous earthquake risk models.
  • Has key features that include a larger inventory of faults, and a higher likelihood of multi-fault ruptures due to a vast, interconnected fault system.
  • Reports that scientists now can consider more than 250,000 different fault-based earthquakes in assessing risk, whereas previous research and models considered far fewer.
  • Reports the likelihood for an earthquake of magnitude (M) 8 or greater in the next 30 years in the entire California region has increased 50% over previous (UCERF2) estimates.
  • Affirms that the likelihood for M6.7 and larger earthquakes somewhere in California remains near certainty (at 99%) in the next 30 years, the duration of a typical mortgage.

Learn more about the faults, earthquake history, and new science in your area, so you can better explain it to your insureds:

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