California Earthquake Authority insurance policy sales jumped following the March 29 magnitude 5.1 La Habra earthquake by nearly as much as the spike in policy sales following the March 11, 2011, magnitude-9.0 Tohoku earthquake in Japan, CEA reported on Friday.
CEA CEO Glen Pomeroy in April said there was a spike in sales and visitations to CEA’s website following the quake, but he didn’t know at the time exactly how many more policies were sold.
According to CEA, an additional 8,176 policies were sold in April. Following the earthquake in Japan 8,474 policies were sold. CEA is a publicly managed, privately funded, nonprofit organization. This is the most polices that have been in force since 2000, according to CEA.
The Southern California quake occurred at a shallow depth of 4.6 miles, with hundreds of aftershocks reported afterward, according to the United States Geological Survey. Little damage was reported.
The magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake in 1994 is the last shake that caused significant residential damage in California.
Since that time, however, the number of residents with earthquake insurance has dropped dramatically, according to CEA, which reported that roughly 11 percent of California residents with a residential policy also have a separate policy to cover earthquake damage.
CEA reported it has paid numerous claims for damage to properties that sustained relatively minor damage from the La Habra earthquake.
CEA offers earthquake insurance policies through 19 participating insurance companies.