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SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 30 -- The California Department of Insurance issued the following news release:
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has approved rate reductions for two of California's largest earthquake insurers. CHUBB Insurance agreed to a 15.46 percent rate decrease and Chartis is lowering its rates by 15 percent for an overall savings to consumers of nearly $15 million. The average annual premium for CHUBB's nearly 7,000 policyholders will go from $5,940 to $5,021, while Chartis' will drop from $7292 to $6061.
The premium reductions are based on updates to models used to develop earthquake insurance rates which show lower damage estimates. As a result of the new data, the California Department of Insurance sent letters to earthquake insurers asking them to substantiate current rates or make reductions. The California Earthquake Authority, the largest writer of earthquake insurance, decreased its rates by 12.5 percent earlier this year.
Only 12 percent of California homeowners have earthquake insurance. "We live in earthquake country and the danger is real. Anything we can do to make coverage more affordable for consumers is a good thing," said Commissioner Jones. "It is important for homeowners to make an educated decision about whether earthquake insurance is the best way to protect their most important asset-their home. Retrofitting the home is another important and often cost effective option to consider."
Rates are based on a number of factors, including: the year the home was built; construction type; the distance to a fault line; and seismic and soil studies. Homeowner insurers are obligated to send out offers of earthquake coverage every other year with policy renewals.
TNS 23SQ 121201-JF78-4124212 StaffFurigay