How To File an Earthquake Insurance Policy Claim
First, make sure you're safe
If a recent earthquake has damaged your home, take these simple steps to file a California Earthquake Authority (CEA) claim:
- Be safe: First and most importantly, make sure you and your family are safe. Check for injuries and get first aid, if necessary.
- Report your claim: Contact the CEA participating insurance company that issued your earthquake policy as soon as possible. They will assign an adjuster who will review your claim and let you know how your coverage will apply to your loss. Remember, with most CEA policies, the first $1,500 in emergency repairs does not have a deductible.
- Document damage: Start a file of names, dates, phone numbers and e-mail addresses for all insurance-related conversations. Take pictures of the damage before you clean it up. Your notes and photos will help support your claim.
- Keep a record: Keep receipts of all earthquake-related expenses.
- Apply for assistance: If the state or federal government issues a state-of-emergency or disaster declaration, government assistance agencies may offer assistance an/or set up local recovery centers in your town. Apply online, by phone or in person.
- Talk to a tax professional: CEA can't give tax advice, but if you have a loss, talk to your tax professional. You could be eligible for a casualty loss deduction on your tax return.
When will my claim be settled?
Every claim is different, so it's not possible to provide a general answer to this question.
The sooner you file a claim with your homeowners or renters insurance company, and work with an adjuster, the sooner your claim will be settled.