Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman

Shamrock Shake: St Patrick’s Day earthquake in Los Angeles is a reminder to check your property insurance policy

By Robert L Wallan, Kimberly L Buffington and Alyson R Parker

Los Angeles residents didn’t need to go to McDonald’s for their ‘Shamrock Shake’ on St Patrick’s Day 2014. At 06:25, a 4.4-magnitude earthquake shook LA County out of bed. The shake serves as a reminder to be informed about your current and future residential or commercial earthquake insurance coverage.

Most California homeowners’ policies expressly exclude earthquake coverage. While all California homeowners’ insurers have an obligation to offer their policyholders earthquake insurance every other year, the Los Angeles Times reports that five out of six homeowners currently have no coverage for losses resulting from a quake. Loss to uncovered homeowners could be devastating if predictions of a ‘big one’ come to fruition. The California Earthquake Authority (CEA), a publicly managed organisation of most private homeowners’ insurers, provides a standard residential earthquake insurance policy. While coverage will ultimately depend on the specific characteristics of the property, and the exact form purchased, the CEA policy usually covers the following…

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