The California Earthquake Authority long has had trouble getting Golden Staters to buy protection for the most devastating natural disaster most of them face. Indeed, if anything, California’s earthquake insurance market is more a story of regress than progress. While about 20 percent of the state’s homeowners had earthquake coverage at the time of the devastating 1994 Northridge quake, the figure is less than half that today.

But a surprising turnaround has been seen in the past few weeks, attributed almost entirely to the success of the disaster blockbuster San Andreas. Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Carla Gugino and Alexandra Daddario, the film has taken in $99.1 million in the U.S. market ($287.1 million worldwide) through its first two weekends: solid numbers although not, to pardon the pun, ground-shaking ones. But Britain’s Guardian newspaper reports that the film’s more lasting effect could be seen in the marked uptick in Californians purchasing disaster kids and, yes, insurance:

The California Earthquake Authority, an insurance clearinghouse, has seen traffic to its website approximately double in the past week, said the CEO, Glenn Pomeroy. “The movie is getting people talking. And just to get them talking about earthquakes is a good thing.”

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