American Property Casualty Insurance Association
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Nicole Mahrt Ganley






August 24, 2014

ACIC Urges Watchfulness for Damages Following American Canyon Quake in California

SACRAMENTO—In the wake of the 6.1-magnitude American Canyon earthquake in the San Francisco Bay area and Napa today, the Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC) urges area residents to be watchful for signs of structural damage.  Residents with damage should contact their insurers through toll free claim numbers.

Early this morning the Napa and the Bay Area were rocked by the strongest earthquake to hit the region in 25 years. The quake’s epicenter was located near Napa and there have already been several aftershocks with one reaching 3.6 magnitude, according to the United States Geological Service. It is too early for damage assessments but there have been power outages and some building damage

“An earthquake of this magnitude can produce structural damage, so residents in the affected area would be well advised to inspect their homes for any signs of damage,” said Mark Sektnan, ACIC’s president. “Buildings that are older or have previously undiscovered structural weaknesses could be susceptible to damage, so we urge property owners to take a careful look at their structures. Also, please heed the local authorities and pay attention to the news media for the latest information.”

If your home was damaged, contact your insurer through their toll free claims phone number.  Coverage for earthquake is not covered in a typical homeowners insurance policy.  Earthquake coverage is available through a separate policy.  Homeowners insurers are required biannually to offer earthquake coverage to homeowners insurance policyholders in California. 

Toll Free Claim Numbers:$file/Insurance_Tollfree_Numbers_060414.pdf

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) advises on its website that aftershocks could be possible after an earthquake. FEMA also advises the following:


• Check for gas leaks. If you smell gas or hear blowing or hissing noise, open a window and quickly leave the building. Turn off the gas at the outside main valve if you can and call the gas company from a neighbor's home. If you turn off the gas for any reason, it must be turned back on by a professional.


• Look for electrical system damage. If you see sparks or broken or frayed wires, or if you smell hot insulation, turn off the electricity at the main fuse box or circuit breaker. If you have to step in water to get to the fuse box or circuit breaker, call an electrician first for advice.


• Check for sewage and water lines damage. If you suspect sewage lines are damaged, avoid using the toilets and call a plumber. If water pipes are damaged, contact the water company and avoid using water from the tap. You can obtain safe water by melting ice cubes.


The Association of California Insurance Companies (ACIC) is part of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). ACIC is PCI’s California Voice representing 363 property casualty insurance companies doing business in California. These members write $20.2 billion in premium in California insuring 36 percent of the property casualty insurance sold in the state. California members write 44 percent of personal auto insurance, 29 percent of homeowners insurance, 33 percent of commercial lines business insurance and 40 percent of private workers compensation insurance sold in California.