FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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NEW YORK, December 23, 2014 –The upcoming anniversary of the January 12, 2010, Haitian earthquake offers a grim reminder of the devastation a temblor can cause, according to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.).
The death toll in Haiti nearly five years ago was 222,570 people, making it the deadliest natural disaster worldwide since 1980, according to Munich Re. The German reinsurer also estimated the event caused $8 billion in economic losses but only $200 million in insured claim payouts. The magnitude of the quake was 7.0.
Just this year, here in the United States, California’s South Napa Valley was jolted on August 24, by a 6.0-magnitude earthquake. The temblor was linked to two fatalities, injured at least 120 people and damaged properties throughout the area. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced yesterday that individuals and business owners in California’s Napa and Solano counties have until Monday, December 29, to register for federal disaster assistance if they were impacted by the South Napa earthquake.
Damages caused by earthquakes are not covered under standard business, home and business insurance policies. Earthquake insurance policies provide protection from the shaking and cracking that can destroy buildings and personal possessions. Coverage for other kinds of damage that may result from earthquakes, such as fire and water damage due to burst gas and water pipes, is generally provided by standard business, homeowners, and renters insurance policies.
Earthquake insurance policies can be purchased from private insurance companies. In California, coverage is also available from the California Earthquake Authority (CEA), a privately funded, publicly managed organization. An I.I.I. survey released this year revealed only 7 percent of homeowners in the U.S. had an earthquake insurance policy; 12 percent in California.
The I.I.I. has additional information on earthquakes and insurance:
THE I.I.I. IS A NONPROFIT, COMMUNICATIONS ORGANIZATION SUPPORTED BY THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY.
Insurance Information Institute, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038; (212) 346-5500; www.iii.org