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Ridgecrest quake insured losses less than $40M: Karen Clark

Posted On: Jul. 24, 2019 11:20 AM CST

Ridgecrest earthquake

Karen Clark & Co. on Wednesday said total damage for the Ridgecrest earthquake July 5 in California should be roughly $200 million, but insured losses will likely be less due to low earthquake insurance penetration rates and high deductibles.

Insured losses will likely be less than $40 million because fewer than 20% of property owners in the area have earthquake insurance and earthquake deductibles are high, the Boston-based catastrophe modeler said in its report Wednesday.

The figure excludes damage to infrastructure and to the Naval Air Station China Lake properties, KCC said.

The magnitude 7.1 quake hit approximately 140 miles southwest of Las Vegas, KCC said.

Damage to commercial structures was limited to ceiling, façade and contents as well as several roof collapses, according to KCC, which sent an engineering team to the area for a post-event survey.

Commercial buildings in Trona, California, were damaged due to liquefaction, KCC said, adding that the quake hit in a “relatively sparsely populated area, which limited total damages and losses.”

Ridgecrest, the most populated area near the epicenter, is largely dominated by single-family wood-frame structures less vulnerable to ground motion, KCC said.

Masonry buildings are much more susceptible to ground motion and typically crack or even collapse in such motion, KCC said.