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Group Proposes Decrease In Earthquake Insurance

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

A youngster rides his scooter over a sidewalk buckled by an earthquake Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Napa, Calif.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

A state-created organization that provides earthquake insurance for California homeowners wants to lower its rates. 

The nonprofit California Earthquake Authority provides about 75 percent of the residential earthquake insurance in the state.

It was created by the Legislature in 1996 after some insurance companies refused to write new earthquake polices following the 1994 Northridge quake. The Authority is publicly-managed, but privately funded.

Earthquake Authority CEO Glenn Pomeroy says the proposal would lower rates an average of eight-percent.

He says coverage changes would expand deductible options starting at five-percent.

"Going down to five percent deductible will increase the premium for that particular policy a little bit, if they want to drive down their premium they're going to be able to choose a much higher deductible, we're going to offer a choice all the way up to 25 percent," says Pomeroy.

Pomeroy says only about 6 percent of homeowners had earthquake insurance in Napa, where a 6.0 quake caused widespread damage earlier this year.

If approved by the California Department of Insurance, the lower rates would take effect January 2016.

 California Earthquake Authority

Ed Joyce

Former All Things Considered Anchor & Reporter

Ed Joyce is a former reporter and All Things Considered news anchor at Capital Public Radio. Ed is a veteran journalist with experience in a variety of news positions across all media platforms, including radio, television, web and print.   Read Full Bio