The costliest U.S. earthquake, the 1994 Northridge quake, caused $15.3 billion in insured damages when it occurred (about $24 billion in 2014 dollars). It ranks as the fifth-costliest U.S. disaster, based on insured property losses (in 2014 dollars), topped only by Hurricane Katrina, the attacks on the World Trade Center, Hurricane Andrew and superstorm Sandy. Eight of the costliest U.S. quakes, based on inflation-adjusted insured losses, were in California, according to Munich Re. On August 24, 2014 a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck South Napa, California, killing one person and causing $700 million in total damage and $150 million in insured losses, according to Munich Re.
Top 10 Costliest U.S. Earthquakes By Inflation-Adjusted Insured Losses (1)
The previous chart ranks historic earthquakes based on their total insured property losses, adjusted for inflation. The chart below uses a computer model to measure the estimated impact of historical quakes according to current exposures. The analysis, conducted in 2012, is based on AIR Worldwide's U.S. earthquake model. It makes use of the firm's property exposure database and takes into account the current number and value of exposed properties.
Estimated Insured Losses For The Top 10 Historical Earthquakes Based On Current Exposures (1)