State announces earthquake insurance discount plan

SAN DIEGO - Experts believe California is overdue for the next big earthquake and more than 85 percent of homes in San Diego County are not covered by the right insurance if an earthquake hits.

Dran Reese has lived in California almost all of her life and has lived through several earthquakes.

"For the Sylmar quake at 1971, I was in bed and I got shaken out of my bed and went to run to my sister who is handicap and I couldn't move," said Reese.

She said the most life-changing game was the Whittier earthquake in 1987.

"I ran to my living room where I tried to stop my favorite collectable from falling off my mantle piece," said Reese. "And I said, 'This is crazy. My life is more important than these items on the shelf.'"

It was after that she and her husband created "Ready America," a company that equips and prepares people for earthquakes and other disasters.

Reese says most San Diegans are not prepared for earthquakes and was on hand for an announcement at the Automobile Club of Southern California.

On Monday, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, California Earthquake Authority (CEA) CEO Glenn Pomeroy and Robert Bouttier, CEO of the Automobile Club of Southern California announced the first-ever homeowners' insurance discount for those who obtain CEA earthquake coverage through the Auto Club.

The discount of up to 7 percent on homeowner insurance policies, which took effect Jan. 1, is available to Auto Club members who insure their single-family homes through the Auto Club's affiliated insurer and also purchase or renew a CEA earthquake insurance policy. The CEA provides the majority of California residential earthquake insurance policies.

"Efforts such as this first-of-its kind discount are important incentives to encourage more homeowners to protect themselves against the potential for devastating loss," said Jones. "In California, it's not a question of if, but rather when the next big earthquake will strike. Living in earthquake country means taking steps to protect your biggest asset from damage and loss."

Reese said, "I really don't want to be in another earthquake, but if we've chosen to live in California it's imminent, so we just need to be prepared."

You can find out how much earthquake insurance would cost you by going to the CEA's website.

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