California has the highest amount of property damage losses due to earthquakes in the U.S., so why do only a small percentage of homeowners in California purchase earthquake insurance? Most homeowners do not understand the risk of owning a home in earthquake country. But, it’s easier than you think to uncover this “hidden” risk to your client’s financial security.
First, why should you offer your clients earthquake coverage?
- You are their coverage advocate. Make sure your clients know their Homeowners policy does not include earthquake coverage. Remind them at every renewal.
- It’s passive income! Once sold, there is very little to no effort needed to retain the business. Earthquake policies have a very high retention rate, about 95% on average.
Next, follow these steps to uncover this “hidden” risk:
Here are three ways we make it easy for you to increase awareness of earthquake insurance to get more clients covered: expose the gap, share the facts, and spread the news.
1. Expose the gap:
Use these talking points to explain to your clients the risk they face owning a home in California:
- “Your Homeowners policy does not provide coverage for earthquake damage, yet you own a home in one of the most seismically active regions in the nation. You are protected from fire, wind, theft, and plumbing losses, but you still risk losing your home to an earthquake.”
- “Has your home equity increased? California homeowners experienced some of the largest equity gains in the nation in 2021, with an average equity gain of $117k.” Source: Core Logic Homeowner Equity Insights
- “Natural disasters are on the rise, causing historic economic losses.”
- “If you experience a total loss, can you afford to rebuild, replace your belongings, find another place to live, and pay off your existing loans?”
- “FEMA is not a substitute for insurance and cannot pay for all losses caused by a disaster.”
- “After an event, having earthquake insurance can get you back into your home months faster (than not having insurance) because contractors are more likely to work with earthquake insurance clients first.”
2. Share the facts:
Many of your clients have not faced a destructive quake in their lifetime, so it is critical to remind them always to be prepared, even if they have never experienced it. Here are some significant facts you can share:
- More than 70 percent of California’s population resides within 30 miles of a fault where high ground shaking could occur in the next 50 years. Each year, California generally gets two or three earthquakes large enough to cause damage to structures (magnitude 5.5 and higher). Source: California Department of Conservation
- Within the next 30 years, there is at least a 60% chance that California will have an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.7 or greater. Source: USGS
- California has the highest property damage losses due to earthquakes in the United States. Discover which California earthquakes had significant economic losses.
- FEMA is not empowered to make you whole again. If you become eligible for FEMA assistance, it can only meet basic needs to help you get back on your feet. FEMA warns that you can recover faster after a disaster if you have insurance.
3. Spread the news:
There are 150 LARGE earthquakes worldwide in the average year, and earthquakes are always in the news. Take out your phone and search “recent California earthquakes”, and you’ll be surprised. Here are simple ways you can take advantage of earthquake news to get more clients covered:
- When an earthquake strikes in your area, and you or your clients felt the ground shaking, this is the BEST time to engage your clients. Expose their gap in coverage, share the facts, and send a quote for earthquake insurance. GeoVera quake alerts for magnitude 4.0 and higher earthquakes are sent to agents in the impacted area. You can also follow GeoVera on LinkedIn and Twitter to share quake alerts.
- You can share earthquake news and a quote for earthquake insurance with every homeowner renewal.
- Visit GeoVera.com to see the latest seismic activity in California or U.S. Geological Survey site: Latest Earthquakes (usgs.gov) to see all recent earthquakes.
The benefit of an earthquake insurance policy far outweighs the cost of a total loss.
Your clients can protect their home, belongings, and equity for less than a daily cup of coffee. As your client’s home equity increases, protecting this precious asset from a catastrophe becomes critical.
With flexible payment plans and a broad range of deductibles from GeoVera, it’s easy to tailor a policy that fits into any budget. For example, if the price is an issue, your client can choose a high deductible policy that is more affordable but provides critical coverage in case of a devastating earthquake. Or, for clients requiring additional protection, you can increase limits for Other Structures, Personal Property, Loss of Use or Loss Assessment coverage.
Why choose GeoVera?
GeoVera is California’s longest-standing earthquake insurance provider, available to agents in 1994, even before the California Earthquake Authority was formed. We have the most advanced, mobile-friendly earthquake quoting, policy management, and claims reporting tools available. Plus, our earthquake products are available on popular comparative raters, making it even easier for you to package an Earthquake quote with your Homeowners quotes.
Finally, we have a proven history of managing catastrophic events caused by some of nature’s worst disasters. Because of this, our earthquake products are supported by a solid financial rating – in fact, the GeoVera Insurance Group carriers are the highest rated carriers in the marketplace with an AM Best “A” (Excellent) rating.
Learn more, or request an agent appointment at GeoVera.com. You’ll want GeoVera on your side when the next quake strikes.