What You May Not Know About Earthquakes

What You May Not Know About Earthquakes

Earthquakes occur almost every day in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle and Portland. Most are not large enough to cause damage, but sooner or later a big one will hit. The resulting damage, loss of life, and the impact on our economy could be devastating. Having earthquake insurance can help you recover faster.

An earthquake is a sudden and rapid shaking of the earth caused by the breaking and shifting of rock beneath the earth’s surface. This shaking can sometimes trigger landslides, avalanches, flash floods, fires and tsunamis. Unlike other natural disasters such as hurricanes, there are no specific seasons for earthquakes. (www.III.org)

What You Don’t Know About Earthquakes

  • Insured losses from earthquakes were about $313 million in 2014, higher than 2013 losses of $45 million but far below 2011’s $54 billion, the highest amount ever recorded, according to Swiss Re.
  • Each year the southern California area has about 10,000 earthquakes. However, if there is a large earthquake the aftershock sequence will produce many more earthquakes of all magnitudes for months.
  • The U.S. has about 20,000 earthquakes a year, mostly small, and 42 states are at risk of quakes, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
  • Almost 80% of all the planet's earthquakes occur along the rim of the Pacific Ocean, called the "Ring of Fire"; a region that encircles the Pacific Ocean and is home to 452 volcanoes (over 75% of the world's active and dormant volcanoes).
  • Parkfield, California, is known as “The Earthquake Capital of the World” and has a bridge that spans two tectonic plates
  • According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there is a 70 percent probability that an earthquake of magnitude 6.7 or larger will strike the San Francisco Bay area over the next 30 years.
  • Earthquake deductibles are based on a percentage of your overall policy limit. If the structure is insured to $500,000, the quake insurance deductible will typically amount to 15% of that, or $75,000. Percentages may vary by insurer.
  • The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco was designed to be twice as strong as building codes require. Its shape and structure help make it earthquake resistant.

Apr. 24, 2015