Commercial Earthquake Insurance in California: Cost and Quotes

Workers compensation in California isn’t the only thing that you need. You might also need to purchase commercial property insurance to keep business operations smooth.  You will find that your standard commercial property insurance policy in California doesn’t cover damage caused by earthquakes. Therefore, getting California commercial earthquake insurance is essential. Here’s a guide that tackles all your questions about the coverage. 

A Quick Look at Some of California’s Major Earthquakes and Their Effects

California is susceptible to earthquakes. It can experience up to 100 earthquakes each day. Many of these quakes are small in magnitude, but some have made history, and people still talk about them today. Look through some of the noteworthy earthquakes which make up California’s earthquake history;

November 1980 Earthquake in West Eureka

The earthquake is also known as the Gorda Basin or Humboldt earthquake because it happened off the coast of Humboldt County. The earthquake injured six people, and people felt its aftershocks for days. The Gorda Basin earthquake also caused structural damage as chimneys fell, shifting four wood-frame houses off their foundations. The earthquake also caused a partial collapse of the Tompkins Hill Road Overpass.

Landers 1992 Earthquake

The Landers earthquake on June 28, 1992, was 7.3 magnitude strong. It was the largest earthquake to hit Southern California in 40 years. It raptured five different faults, which are;

  • Johnson Valley

  • Landers

  •  Camp Rock

  • Homestead Valley

  •  Emerson

The quake occurred in a sparsely populated area, but its effects were felt throughout Idaho, Arizona, Nevada, and Los Angeles.

On the same day and morning that the earthquake happened, another one of magnitude 6.5 happened in Big Bear. It is considered to be the most major aftershock of the Landers earthquake. The quake caused a lot of damage in Big Bear as it caused a 44-mile-long fault rupture and landslides which blocked and damaged roads in Bernardino Mountains.

In total, the two quakes caused at least 400 people to become injured. Also, they caused the death of a child who died from a fallen chimney and two others dying due to heart attacks.

Cape Mendocino 1992 Earthquake

This earthquake took place on April 25, 1992. It occurred in three sequences that out stretched up to Humboldt County. The three earthquakes occur at intervals of about one-two hours apart between 11:06-4:18 am. After the quake, some aftershocks of 6.6 and 6.5 happened the next day, April 26, 1992. 

Cape Mendocino 1992 Earthquake was so strong and the seismogram recorded magnitudes ranging from 6.5-8.5. These magnitudes triggered a tsunami that was heavily experienced at the shores. The damage that the earthquake caused included

  • Buildings

  • Roads

  • Bridges

Besides damages, no one died as a result of the earthquake despite the fact that hundreds of people were harmed.

Hector Mine Earthquake

On October 16, 1999 at around 2:46:44 am, Hector mine earthquake struck Southern California and some parts of Nevada and Arizona. The earthquake boasted a magnitude of 7.1. Although this was a high magnitude quake, it caused little to no destruction because it occurred in a remote area.

Having taken place in the heart of Mojave Desert it only caused damage to two bridges in California. The earthquake also left more than 250,000 residents without power in Southern California. However, scientists speculate that things could be much different if the same earthquake occurred in a densely populated area. 

El-Mayor-Cucapah Earthquake

Although the El Mayor-Cucapah earthquake happened in Mexico, it was centered in Baja, California and felt throughout the region;

  • Nevada

  • Arizona

  • Southern California

It was the largest quake to strike the area since 1892. It caused widespread liquefaction and caused damage to highways, buildings, and homes. Experts estimated that the economic loss was in terms of millions.

Ridge Crest Earthquake

On July 5, 2019, a 7.1 earthquake struck close to Ridgecrest in the Mojave desert. It was preceded by a 6.4 earthquake that struck about 7.5 miles southwest of the Searles Valley on July 4, 2019. Both quakes led to multiple aftershocks, with one of a magnitude as high as 5.5. The 7.1 earthquake was the largest in the area in about 20 years.

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How Much Money Will Your Business Lose if a Major Earthquake Happens in California Anytime Soon?

There is an earthquake that has been labeled as ‘The Big One’ and is one that experts have predicted may happen anytime soon. The earthquake is estimated to be of magnitude 7.8 and could occur along the parts of the San Andreas fault. Experts contend that even the buildings up to code could still be damaged after such an earthquake.

Experts estimate that such an earthquake could kill about 1 800 people and injure about 50,000. Another thing that could happen is that there would be fires as the quake would rupture the natural-gas lines. Regarding the estimated financial cost of such an event, experts estimate that $200 billion with $50 billion in lost economic activity and $33 billion in building damages would be lost.

Commercial Earthquake Insurance Might Soothe Your Worries

Earthquake insurance for commercial property in California might be an answer to your worries. This is designed to grant a comprehensive amount of coverage for building reconstruction or repair. With commercial earthquake insurance, you’re sure to recover even if a disastrous earthquake happens. 

California commercial earthquake insurance may have high deductibles. This is because the cover is supposed to grant  trusty and comprehensive protection. Deductibles are 5%-20% of the total coverage amount. Therefore, if you get a $100,000 commercial earthquake policy in California, the deductibles would be $5,000-$20,000. 

Commercial Earthquake Insurance Vs. Earthquake Insurance for Condos and Houses

Earthquake insurance for condos and houses is less extensive and covers privately owned homes. It doesn’t protect business premises such as commercial earthquake insurance. The earthquake insurance’s main objective is to put a roof over one’s head, while commercial earthquake insurance alleviates loss that would occur to a business due to an earthquake.

How Much Coverage Can You Get?

Earthquake insurance in California provides a $25,000-$10 million worth of coverage depending on which insurance company you decide to work with. Commercial building earthquake insurance California may have the following types of coverage;

  •  Loss of business income

  • Commercial and residential property

  • Direct damage

  • Inland marine exposures

It is essential to note that you can negotiate for additional coverage. Also, some of the policies you may sign in to may be limited; for example, you may sign in to a policy that provides exclusions for damage caused by flood or vehicle damage. Therefore, as you get a policy, ensure you understand what it covers and doesn’t.

The coverage you enjoy as a policyholder largely depends on the California commercial earthquake insurance company you choose. You may find a company that can even insure you up to about $15 000 000 or even higher. When looking for commercial earthquake insurance, ensure you look at the different offers by different companies to determine the best one.

Can You Purchase Commercial Earthquake Insurance From Insurers Accredited by California Earthquake Authority?

The California Earthquake Authority (CEA) doesn’t provide commercial earthquake insurance. The government formed the CEA due to the Northridge earthquake. It was meant to cater to homeowners that lost their property due to earthquakes. It doesn’t take care of business owners. The CEA only provides earthquake insurance for condos and houses, and one can only buy commercial earthquake insurance from insurance companies that are members of the CEA.

Is It Possible for Your Business in California to Avail Earthquake Coverage as an Endorsement to Commercial Property Insurance?

The Earthquake coverage is often considered a standalone policy. But you can buy this as an endorsement to commercial property insurance. Getting this as an endorsement might be better because policy management is easier and you might receive discounts. 

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Cost of Commercial Earthquake Insurance in California

Commercial earthquake insurance in California is $70.83 per month or $850 per year. The cost of your actual insurance may vary as there are many factors. They include; your business’s location, the age of your premises, and your deductible. The table below shows the rates of the best companies for commercial earthquake insurance in California:

Cost per Month Cost per Year Best for
NEXT $40 $480 Best overall; Fastest commercial earthquake coverage
CoverWallet $50 $600 Comparing commercial earthquake insurance quotes over the phone
Tivly $63 $756 Comparing commercial earthquake insurance quotes over the phone
Hiscox $63 $756 Established and reputable insurance company
The Hartford $67 $804 Specializes in earthquake coverage for highly risky business lines
Thimble $71 $852 Comprehensive coverage

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Best Companies for California Commercial Earthquake Insurance

Different companies offer commercial earthquake insurance, and we will look at some of the best in the industry. Here are some reviews of the best California commercial earthquake insurance companies. Read to know their pros, cons, and average cost. 

NEXT Commercial Earthquake Insurance


  • Specializes in earthquake insurance coverage

  • Tailored policies for commercial properties

  • Quick and efficient claims handling

  • Excellent customer service

  • User-friendly online platform


  •  Limited availability in certain states

  • May have higher premiums compared to other companies

NEXT is also another competent commercial earthquake insurance cover. It also covers many insurance coverages, such as loss of business income, commercial property, and direct damage. Also, you can negotiate to get a cover that covers additional perils.

Best for: Best overall; Fastest commercial earthquake coverage

Average cost: $40 per month 

Our rating: 10/10

CoveWallet Commercial Earthquake Insurance


  • Easy-to-use online platform

  • Wide range of commercial insurance products

  • Ability to compare quotes from multiple carriers

  • Quick online application process


  • Not an insurance company but an insurance broker 

The CoveWallet is notoriously known for being the best in providing the best commercial earthquake policies in the industry. Their commercial earthquake policies usually cover buildings, business personal property, loss of income, etc.

Their earthquake insurance for commercial property in california  protection is comprehensive in the commercial space. You can negotiate with the company to develop more comprehensive plans covering perils resulting from the earthquake. The CoveWallet is one of the largest insurance companies in California, and it offers its policies in about 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Best for: Comparing commercial earthquake insurance quotes over the phone 

Average cost: $50 per month 

Our rating: 10/10

The Hartford Commercial Earthquake Insurance


  • Commercial earthquake insurance is available as an endorsement to commercial property insurance

  • Grants earthquake coverage to highly risk business lines 


  • No online quotes

The Hartford’s commercial earthquake insurance is available as an endorsement to its commercial property insurance for businesses in California. You need to speak with an agent to know the policy limits and exclusions of the coverage. 

Best for: Specializes in earthquake coverage for highly risky business lines 

Average cost: $67 per month

Our rating: 10/10

Hiscox Commercial Earthquake Insurance


  • Established and reputable insurance company

  • Wide range of commercial insurance products

  • Strong financial stability and ratings

  • Nationwide coverage

  • Personalized risk management services


  • May have higher premiums compared to other companies

  • Limited specialization in earthquake insurance

  • Complex underwriting process

  • Limited online quoting options

Hiscox is also another insurance company that offers Commercial building earthquake insurance California. It provides various options to choose the best option to suit your business. It also provides a library of information on how you can mitigate losses caused by earthquakes. In summary, you can trust Hiscox Insurance to afford you valuable and necessary coverage.

Best for: Established and reputable insurance company

Average cost: $63 per month 

Our rating: 8/10

Tivly Commercial Earthquake Insurance


  • Specializes in earthquake insurance coverage

  • Quick and efficient claims handling

  • User-friendly online platform

  • Competitive pricing

  •  Personalized risk assessment services


  • Mixed customer reviews

  • May have higher premiums compared to other companies

Tivly Insurance offers a wealth of experience and expertise in personal and commercial earthquake insurance plans. They usually evaluate your property’s risk and value when they come up with a suitable plan for you. Call Tivly now to compare quotes over the phone. 

However, their policies could be limited, which could work to your disadvantage. It is because the policies they offer often have exclusions of damage caused to vehicles, fencing, and landscaping. The insurance cover may not cover damage caused by flooding.

Best for: Comparing commercial earthquake insurance quotes over the phone 

Average cost: $62.50 per month 

Our rating: 8/10

Thimble  Commercial Earthquake Insurance


  • Comprehensive Coverage

  • Tailored Policies

  • Fast and Easy Process

  • Competitive Pricing


  •  Limited availability

Thimble is the foremost provider of commercial earthquake insurance in California, offering businesses comprehensive protection against potential earthquake-related damages and losses.

Best for: Comprehensive coverage

Average cost: $70.83 per month 

Our rating: 9/10


Earthquakes in California are a common occurrence. Although many times these earthquakes are small in magnitude, sometimes there are big earthquakes that cause a lot of damage. Experts expect that a large earthquake may happen any time soon and is projected to cause a loss of billions.

Therefore, as a business owner, you need to be careful. The best way to ease your worries is to get commercial earthquake insurance coverage. You must obtain a cover that covers all perils. Please note that you must negotiate with the insurance company you choose to decide on the number of risks you need to protect your business.

Different companies have different policies, and you must compare the other policies to decide the best one. Please remember that California commercial earthquake insurance coverage is something you cannot afford not to have, and you should get one now.

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