To Get People to Buy Insurance, Change How You Talk About Risk

Earthquake-damaged household items are cleared away in Napa, Calif., on Aug. 26 Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Napa Valley earthquake in August offered another instance of a well-known phenomenon: Homeowners are radically underinsured against natural disasters. In California, 9 out of 10 homeowners don’t have earthquake coverage. When Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012, 8 out of 10 affected residents didn’t have flood insurance. This year’s hurricane season is forecast to be mild, but there will be no shortage of opportunities to revisit these statistics.

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