A Firm Foundation: How Insurance Supports the Economy

The 1994 Northridge quake was the costliest U.S. earthquake on record, causing $15.3 billion in insured damages when it occurred ($28.4 billion in 2021 dollars) according to Aon. The Northridge quake ranks as the eighth costliest U.S. disaster, based on insured property losses (in 2021 dollars). Six of the costliest U.S. quakes, based on inflation-adjusted insured losses, were in California.

Top 10 Costliest U.S. Earthquakes By Inflation-Adjusted Insured Losses (1)

($ millions)

        Insured losses (1)
Rank Date Event Location When occurred In 2021 dollars (2)
1 Jan. 17, 1994 Northridge CA $15,300 $28,357
2 Apr. 18, 1906 San Francisco CA 235 7,303
3 Oct. 18, 1989 Loma Prieta CA 960 2,071
4 Feb. 28, 2001 Nisqually WA 315 486
5 Jan. 7, 2020 Puerto Rico PR 425 446
6 Aug. 24, 2014 South Napa CA 200 228
7 Feb. 9, 1971 San Fernando CA 32 215
8 Oct. 1, 1987 Whittier Narrows CA 75 176
9 Nov. 30, 2018 Anchorage AK 150 161
10 Aug. 23, 2011 Virginia VA, DC 100 120

(1) Includes losses sustained by private insurers and government-sponsored programs such as the National Flood Insurance Program. Ranked on losses in 2021 dollars. Subject to change as loss estimates are further developed. As of February 1, 2022.
(2) Adjusted for inflation by Aon using the U.S. Consumer Price Index.

Source: Aon.

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