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Get earthquake insurance

In the United States about 5,000 quakes can be felt each year. Since 1900, earthquakes have

occurred in 39 states and caused damage in all 50.
One of the worst catastrophes in U.S. history,

the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, caused direct quake losses of about $24 million and fire

losses of about $500 million, according to the National Geophysical Data Center. That would be

about $10.5 billion in 2003 dollars, a small portion of the potential cost of damage from a similar

earthquake today.

Earthquakes in the United States are not covered under standard homeowners or business

insurance policies.
“Call your insurance agent and add it to your home owners insurance”

Coverage is usually available for earthquake damage in the form of an

endorsement to a home or business insurance policy. Cars and other vehicles are covered for

earthquake damage under the comprehensive part of the auto insurance policy.


Earthquake Measurement: The size and magnitude of an earthquake is measured in several

different ways. The Richter Scale measures the size of earthquake waves. It was developed by

Charles Richter in the 1930s and is a logarithmic measurement of the amount of energy released

by an earthquake, see below. The Mercalli Intensity Scale evaluates the intensity of a quake

according to observed severity at specific locations. It rates the intensity on a Roman numeral

scale that ranges from I to XII. Today, seismologists are using the Moment Magnitude Scale,

which measures the size of the earthquake’s fault, and how much of the earth slips at the time of

the quake. A number of readings are taken, averaged and then adjusted to generate numbers

similar to the Richter Scale. This allows the magnitude of earthquakes measured on these new

scales to be compared with earthquakes recorded earlier. According to the Moment Magnitude

Scale, the severity of an earthquake is categorized as the following:

5.0 Small

5.0 – 6.0 Moderate

6.0 – 7.0 Large

7.0 – 7.8 Major

7.8 Great

An increase of one unit of magnitude, for example, from a 4.0 to a 5.0 quake, is a 10-fold increase

in wave amplitude on a seismogram, or about a 30-fold increase in energy released. Thus, the

difference between a 4.0 and a 6.0 magnitude quake would be a release of energy 900 times (30

times 30) as great as a 4.0 magnitude quake since the magnitude is a logarithmic value.

Click here for
Facts About Earthquake Insurance from The Office of the Insurance

Commissioner

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