Modeler Estimates Insured Losses from California Quakes Less Than $40M

July 24, 2019

A catastrophe modeler estimates the total loss from the 7.1 Magnitude and M6.4 earthquakes that struck near Ridgecrest, Calif., earlier this month will be about $200 million, not including infrastructure or damage to properties in the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake

An event brief from Karen Clark & Co. released on Wednesday examining this month’s earthquakes, the largest earthquakes to hit Southern California in 20 years, estimates insured losses will likely be less than $40 million because less than 20 percent of property owners in the area have earthquake insurance and earthquake deductibles are high.

Following the event, a KCC engineering team was dispatched to conduct a post-event damage survey.

Key observations from the survey include:

  • The earthquake occurred in a relatively sparsely populated area, which limited total damages and losses
  • Newer construction exhibited little to no damage, with the exception of occasional ceiling collapse and contents damage, while many older buildings sustained significant structural damage
  • Mobile homes were dislodged from their foundations in Ridgecrest and deemed uninhabitable
  • Liquefaction resulted in structural damage to commercial buildings in Trona
  • Lifeline and infrastructure disruption included broken water and power lines, most of which was restored by July 6 in Ridgecrest and July 17 in Trona.

The widely felt quakes got the attention of residents around Southern California. Visits to the California Earthquake Authority website reportedly increased by nearly 10 times normal following the quakes.

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