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California Renters Earthquake Insurance Policies

young couple in apartment researching earthquake insurance on their laptopEarthquake insurance for renters is the affordable choice to protect your belongings and cover the cost of living elsewhere if your rental is damaged and in need of repairs after a quake.

Even if your landlord has earthquake insurance for the building, their policy won’t cover your belongings inside your rental home. Get a CEA earthquake policy to cover your possessions and protect you from costly expenses if you need to move out.

You might be surprised to discover how flexible and affordable California earthquake insurance for renters can be. CEA offers a variety of coverage choices and deductible options.

Get a quick earthquake insurance price estimate using our premium calculator. And, talk to your residential insurer about a California earthquake insurance policy for renters that fits your needs and budget. They will also help you purchase your CEA policy.

How to Buy a Policy

Does renters insurance cover earthquakes?

Most standard renters policies don't cover earthquake damage.

Most standard renters policies don’t cover earthquake damage. And even if your landlord has earthquake insurance, their policy won’t cover your stuff.

Get a CEA earthquake policy to cover your belongings and protect you if you need to move out. Use the CEA premium calculator to get a free insurance cost estimate. Then, contact your residential insurer, who will help you buy your earthquake insurance policy.

CEA renters coverage options*

Personal Property -

Personal Property

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Personal property coverage protects items inside your rental home. This includes furniture, clothing, sporting goods and electronics that are damaged or destroyed in the event of a major earthquake. Household items damaged by an earthquake may be eligible to be repaired or replaced under this coverage.
Loss of Use -

Loss of Use

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Where would you live if after a major earthquake you couldn’t live in your rental home? Loss of Use covers the full cost of living elsewhere while your home is being repaired or if a civil authority prevents entry to your neighborhood.

Loss of Use not only covers temporary housing rent but also additional items, including food, moving, and storage expenses, and other essential tasks. Our coverage never has a deductible.

Emergency Repairs -

Emergency Repairs

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Emergency and necessary repairs to your rental home may be needed after an earthquake to help protect your home from rain damage due to earthquake damage or aftershocks. This could include labor and materials needed to board up damaged windows or remove broken glass from furniture.
Breakables -

Breakables

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This optional coverage helps you replace your wedding china, glassware, crystal, ceramic, pottery, porcelain, or marble items that are broken because of an earthquake.

learn more about renters policy coverage

Get more details about our renters policy coverages and deductibles.  

Download an Earthquake Insurance for Renters Brochure (PDF) or order policy brochures online.

Do I Need Earthquake Insurance for Renters?

There aren’t any warning signs for a devastating earthquake. In the San Francisco Bay Area or Los Angeles, you may have an app that will give you a warning of 10 or 15 seconds, which isn’t very much time—certainly not enough time to buy coverage!

One thing is certain: California is overdue for a damaging earthquake in the near future.

Earthquake insurance for renters is not required in California, unlike automobile liability insurance. If you choose not to protect yourself with earthquake residential insurance, you will be responsible for 100 percent of the costs to replace your belongings and the expense of finding another place to live if your home is damaged or destroyed after a major earthquake.

How Expensive is Earthquake Insurance?

CEA earthquake insurance for renters could cost as little as $35 per year. The cost of your policy depends on factors like where you live, and the coverages and deductibles you choose. We offer coverage choices and more deductible options to help you find a policy that best meets your needs and budget.

Where To Buy Earthquake Insurance

Contact your home insurance agent today to discuss adding a separate CEA earthquake renters policy to your rental home policy.

We work with 24 residential insurers in California to make buying earthquake coverage easy. Add a policy today. You don’t need to wait until your rental home insurance policy comes for renewal.

Read Your CEA Policy Carefully

*We encourage you to read your entire CEA policy—and its policy declarations page—to understand your coverages and how they work. Exclusions and special limits apply. All terms and conditions of CEA insurance coverage are found in the CEA insurance-policy form. Refer to a sample policy, below. 

Renters Policy Sample (PDF)
Optional Endorsement - Coverage For Breakables (PDF)

Renters Insurance FAQs

We’ve gathered some frequently asked questions from renters to help you understand how a CEA policy can help you recover from the next damaging earthquake.
Q. Why do I need earthquake insurance?
A. In California, your residential insurance policy doesn’t cover your home or your belongings against earthquakes. If you don’t have earthquake insurance, you’re not covered for earthquake damage or any additional costs needed to live elsewhere while your home is being repaired or rebuilt. Contact your residential insurer today to get the earthquake insurance you need.
Q. How much does a CEA renters policy cost?
A. A CEA renters policy could cost as little as $35 per year. Of course, the cost of your policy depends on factors such as the earthquake risk where you live and the coverages and deductibles you choose. CEA offers coverage and limit choices as well as more deductible options to help you find a policy that best meets your needs and budget. Use our Premium Calculator for a free estimate. 
Q. How does CEA’s deductible work? Do I have to pay the deductible before receiving a payment?
A. You do not pay your deductible out of pocket to receive payment on a claim. The deductible is subtracted from your covered damage so you don’t have to pay any of the deductible up front before you receive your claim payment.  
Q. Where can I buy a CEA earthquake insurance policy?
A. You can buy a CEA earthquake insurance policy through one of our participating residential insurance companies. CEA does not offer stand-alone policies. Learn more about how to buy a CEA earthquake insurance policy.
Q: I don't have earthquake insurance. Can I buy a new CEA policy after an earthquake?

A: Yes. CEA has never imposed a moratorium on selling new earthquake insurance policies following any earthquake, even in the areas directly affected by the earthquake.*

If you do choose to purchase a new CEA earthquake insurance policy shortly after the occurrence of an earthquake in your area, and if there are aftershocks or other quakes that are related to that same earthquake, then you should be aware that your new CEA policy will not cover losses from these aftershocks or other related ground-shaking that occurs within 15 days (360 hours) after that earthquake, though would cover damage from completely unrelated earthquakes that may occur immediately after you purchase your policy. That original earthquake, together with all related shaking that occurs within 15 days, are collectively referred to as the "seismic event" in the CEA policy. In other words, the "seismic event" commences upon the initial earthquake, and all earthquakes or aftershocks that occur within the 360 hours (15 days) immediately following the initial earthquake are considered for purposes of this policy to be part of the same "seismic event."

For a loss to be covered under a CEA policy, both the original earthquake that caused the loss (to your property or belongings) and the 15-day "seismic event" that the earthquake is part of must commence during the policy period.

If, however, another earthquake occurs after the new policy goes into effect, and that earthquake is not seismically related to the earlier earthquake (not part of the earlier “seismic event”), then your losses from this new earthquake would be covered, even if they occurred immediately after the effective date of the policy, because those losses would arise from a different seismic event.

If you are a current policyholder and have experienced damage from a covered seismic event, and another quake occurs as part of the same event (for example, with the 2019 Ridgecrest earthquake, when a 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck and the next day a 7.1 magnitude struck, as part of the same seismic event), our 360-hour definition allows our policyholders to combine all the damage to meet their deductible. In other words, you do not need to meet your deductible each time; you only need to meet it once.

*It is possible, however, that one or more CEA participating insurers (who sell and service our policies), as well as other insurance companies, may declare a moratorium on new sales of their own insurance policies (e.g., homeowners, condominium owners, or renters insurance that covers the risk of fire) in the affected area after an earthquake or other disaster, so if you reside in an area that has been affected by a recent earthquake and are interested in purchasing homeowners or other property insurance, we recommend you contact the property insurer to see if they have issued a moratorium on the policy types they offer.

Q. What are my deductible options?
A. You can choose coverage deductibles of 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, or 25%. 

Calculate Your Earthquake Insurance Premium