Earthquake Insurance Survey of Agents in the Western U.S.

CREW’s survey of insurance agents explores their experiences and opportunities for discussing earthquake risk and earthquake insurance with consumers.

Graphic of a person sitting at a desk looking at an open laptop computer; next to the desk is a box of documents.

The 5-Minute Survey

Between March 8 and May 17, 2023, CREW invited insurance agents throughout the western* United States to take a 5-minute survey. More than 800 agents responded!

CREW is working now on analyzing the data, and we will post the report here as soon as it’s completed.

*Western states and territories with a high to very high earthquake hazard include Alaska, Arizona, California, CNMI, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

About the Survey Project

Earthquake preparedness and emergency management professionals engage in public education efforts that encourage the public to prepare not only for an earthquake and its immediate aftermath, but also for recovery afterwards. Earthquake preparedness messaging therefore includes mention of financial preparedness. Some of this messaging and guidance encourages homeowners and renters to purchase earthquake insurance, and such messages often conclude by advising consumers to speak to an insurance agent. Indeed, a recent consumer research survey conducted in the New Madrid seismic zone of the central United States found that consumers who consulted an insurance agent when making decisions about insurance were more likely to have earthquake insurance than those who did not use an agent when making such decisions.[1] At the same time, “34% of homeowners and 76.7% of renters reported that they did not use an insurance agent to make insurance purchasing decisions….”[2]

The purpose of CREW’s present inquiry is to learn from agents themselves about their opportunities to discuss earthquake insurance and earthquake risk with consumers, including how often agents typically have such interactions,[3] what form the interactions take, what information and resources agents might need (if any) in order to better understand the earthquake hazard, and what level of interest they have in educating consumers about earthquake insurance and communicating earthquake preparedness information.

The results of this inquiry will assist emergency managers and earthquake preparedness professionals both to understand the role of insurance agents in educating the public, and to design effective disaster preparedness messaging and public education campaigns.

CREW is conducting this survey project with funding from the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.

Questions? Contact Kyra Nourse, Project Coordinator, at info@noursekl0952

View a PDF copy of the survey:

  1. Houston, J. B., Croy, L., Czajkowski, J., & Groshong, L. (2022). Addressing the New Madrid Seismic Zone Earthquake Protection Gap: Insights into Homeowners and Renters Earthquake Insurance Uptake from Comprehensive Primary Data. Center for Insurance Policy and Research (CIPR) Research Report, National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
  2. Ibid.
  3. A particular topic of interest is the extent to which online transactions have replaced face-to-face interactions between agents and consumers.