Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Homeowners need coverage for natural disasters

With recent hurricane activity in the Gulf and Florida, people obviously have been wondering about insurance: How would they be covered for natural disasters here in California? Our concern here in Southern California is earthquakes, as well as, possible floods. Both exposures can be handled by insurance.

We've read several articles recently on how California is long overdue for another sizable earthquake - how would insurance help? The CEA (California Earthquake Authority) was created after the Northridge Quake and has the capability of paying more than $16 billion in claims. Most insurance companies, Farmers, State Farm, Allstate, etc. are members of the CEA and the policies are written in conjunction with your homeowner's policies. These policies have a variety of deductibles ranging from 5-15%.

Another problem in California is the potential of flooding. Flood is not covered by homeowner's insurance. It does require a separate policy. In Texas and Florida, individual insurance companies are seeing more losses for automobiles than homes, and autos are covered under comprehensive coverage for flood damage. As far as the individual, home coverage is provided as it is in California by flood insurance. Not all agents write flood insurance, but those of us who do, write the policies through the National Flood Insurance Program. It does have a 30-day waiting period to eliminate people buying it just before the flood may occur.

While earthquakes and floods are not common disasters, they can have devastating effects on your home and your assets. Meeting with your insurance agent to go over the options is time well spent. In our area, both policies are relatively inexpensive and probably a great idea.

Marty Pay has been a Farmer's agent for 42 years. He also teaches at University of Phoenix. His office is at 212 W. F St., in Tehachapi. For more information, call (661) 822-6800.