Insurance officials: Cost of damages caused by Napa quake may reach more than $1B

Inspectors are going door to door and examining homes and buildings for damage from the Napa earthquake that hit the region early Sunday morning.

The 6.1 magnitude quake hit around 3:30 a.m. Officials said damage from the earthquake is expected to reach more than $1 billion.

California Earthquake Authority CEO Glenn Pomeroy said 94 percent of the property damaged in the quake does not have earthquake insurance.

After the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which caused more than $20 billion in damages and repair costs, earthquake insurance skyrocketed.

"That's when insurance companies, for the most part, said, 'it's too risky. We can't do this anymore,'" Pomeroy said.

So, in 1996, the California Earthquake Authority (CEA) was formed. Under the board supervision of the governor, insurance commissioner and treasury secretary, the authority has been able to decrease premium costs by 45 percent.

However, statewide only one in 10 homeowners has earthquake coverage.

"So, we've got a lot of work to do to work with homeowners throughout the state and to get them to think about the fact that their home is their major asset in life," Pomeroy said.

In the Napa area, yearly premiums are about $1,900 for $600,000 in replacement costs. In Sacramento, to cover a $600,000 home, it would only cost about $400 per year.

"Those numbers come from the authority's insurance premium calculator, where anyone can get a coverage estimate," Pomeroy said.

You can determine the yearly earthquake insurance premium for your home at the CEA website, or visit


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