INSURANCE

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

20th Century Seeks to Raise Quake Coverage Rate: Swamped by an estimated $475 million in claims costs from the Northridge earthquake, 20th Century Insurance Co. applied for earthquake insurance rate increases averaging 172% for houses and 400% for condominiums. Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi scheduled a May 11 hearing in Los Angeles on the application and the company's earlier request for a 21.8% hike in homeowners insurance rates. Woodland Hills-based 20th Century's current rates--a statewide average--are $2 per $1,000 of coverage for frame houses and $9 per $1,000 on masonry homes. Rates are higher in earthquake-prone areas.

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