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Insured quake losses $1B, total economic losses could top $20B: Verisk


Verisk Inc.’s Extreme Event Solutions catastrophe modeling unit, formerly AIR Worldwide, on Tuesday said industry-insured losses for the Feb. 6 earthquakes in Turkey will likely top $1 billion and total economic losses could exceed $20 billion.

The estimates are based on the impacts of both earthquakes, magnitudes 7.8 and then 7.5, that occurred on that day, although Verisk said its results indicate the initial shock is the driver of most of the insured losses.

Verisk’s modeled insured loss estimates include damage from ground shaking; induced insured physical damage to onshore property, both structures and their contents; and loss of use coverages such as business interruption.

Modeled insured loss estimates do not include things such as losses due to fire-following, liquefaction, or sprinkler leakage; losses to infrastructure; and losses from hazardous waste cleanup, vandalism, or civil commotion, whether directly or indirectly caused by the event.

The magnitude 7.8 earthquake resulted from strike-slip faulting at shallow depth, a statement said. Nine hours after the first earthquake, a second quake of magnitude 7.5 occurred.

Since 1900, approximately 12 earthquakes of magnitude 5.0 and greater and one event of magnitude 6.0 and greater have occurred in Turkey each year. Severe examples include the 1939 magnitude 7.9 Izmit earthquake, the 1999 magnitude 7.5 Izmit earthquake, and the 1999 magnitude 7.2 Düzce earthquake, according to Verisk.

Similar loss estimates were made on Monday.