Newark, Calif. – A new 2006 analysis from Risk Management Solutions (RMS) reveals that a Mw7.9 earthquake on the northern section of the San Andreas Fault today would result in at least $260 billion of damages to residential and commercial exposures, of which $50 billion to $80 billion would be covered by property and workers' compensation insurers. In contrast to the 1906 event, where 80% of the losses were caused by fire, less than 15% of the estimated total insured property losses are expected to be fire-related in 2006.The study analyzes the impacts of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire based on the 2006 population and property exposures of the San Francisco Bay Area. The property and workers 'compensation losses estimated in the RMS report include residential and commercial property and contents losses, as well as direct business interruption and additional living expenses due to ground shaking. In the RMS scenario, strong ground shaking affects 19 Bay Area counties, with an estimated building inventory value of approximately $2 trillion for residential, commercial, and industrial properties.
This insured loss estimate accounts for the effects of 'loss amplification'--the range of processes, including economic demand surge, that raise the total costs paid out by insurers in the aftermath of the largest catastrophes. The analysis also includes the impacts and expected costs of fires starting and spreading within those areas with the highest levels of predicted damage.
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