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Insurers Assessing Bay Area Quake

The strongest area tremor in 25 years is spurring renewed interest in earthquake cover among Californians.

Insurers have begun responding to the 6.0-magnitude earthquake that shook California's Napa Valley Sunday morning.

Fireman's Fund, which is based in the nearby town of Novato, Calif., says it is "taking claim reports and is prepared to provide assistance to its agents and customers." The publicly funded California Earthquake Authority says up to 15,000 of its policyholders are in the affected area, and claims have begun rolling in.

The quake comes after a recent Insurance Information Institute survey found that only 12% of Californians have earthquake insurance. One Napa-area business owner told CNBC that earthquake insurance is "expensive, hard to get and it doesn't cover much of what I need as a small business owner."

However, with a potential economic impact of $1 billion, this quake could prove to be a galvanizing event to renew interest in earthquake insurance products.

Nathan Golia is senior editor of Insurance & Technology. He joined the publication in 2010 as associate editor and covers all aspects of the nexus between insurance and information technology, including mobility, distribution, core systems, customer interaction, and risk ... View Full Bio

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