East Coast Earthquake Losses Less Than $100 Million: Eqecat

August 23, 2011

The earthquake that struck Virginia and rattled the Eastern United States Tuesday caused less than $100 million in insured losses, catastrophe modeling company Eqecat said.

Eqecat said the relatively weak nature of the earthquake kept losses from being worse. Had the quake been a magnitude 7 instead of a roughly magnitude 6 temblor, insured losses would have been more than 20 times higher, it said.

The company, whose models are used by insurance companies to predict losses and plan coverage, said its data suggest minor damage would be more common in the affected areas than significant structural damage.

Disastrous earthquakes around the world have rocked the insurance industry in the last few months; prices have started turning higher after years of declining rates for coverage. The March quake in Japan alone caused tens of billions of dollars in insured losses and hundreds of billions in economic losses.

(Reporting by Ben Berkowitz; Writing by Martinne Geller; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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