The 6.0-magnitude earthquake that occurred Sunday near Napa, California, will result in far fewer claims than either the January 1994 Northridge, Calif., or the October 1989 Loma Prieta quake, said the Insurance Information Institute. Early estimates put insured losses well under $1 billion.
The I.I.I. reported that 42 states are at risk for earthquakes, with 16 states at high risk. A 2014 Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) survey revealed that only 7 percent of homeowners nationwide report having earthquake coverage, down from 10 percent last year. The percentage of homeowners and renters who have earthquake coverage in Napa is less than 6 percent. In Sonoma, the percentage is less than 10 percent, and about 10 percent of Californians have a residential earthquake insurance policy, said the California Earthquake Authority.
Earthquake insurance provides protection from the shaking and cracking that can destroy buildings and personal possessions. It is available from private insurance companies and carries a deductible, in the form of a percentage. Deductibles can range anywhere from 2 percent to 20 percent of the replacement value of the structure. Cars and other vehicles are covered for earthquake damage under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy.
"While it is too soon to assess the extent of damage from the 6.0-magnitude earthquake and its aftershocks, the temblor is a reminder that those living in earthquake-prone areas of the country need to have proper coverage,” said Dr. Robert Hartwig, president of the I.I.I. and an economist. “The earthquake was the strongest to impact the area since the 1989 Loma Prieta quake, which resulted in $1.8 billion in insured claims (in 2013 dollars) being paid to policyholders.”
Register or login for access to this item and much more
All Digital Insurance content is archived after seven days.
Community members receive:
- All recent and archived articles
- Conference offers and updates
- A full menu of enewsletter options
- Web seminars, white papers, ebooks
Already have an account? Log In
Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access