Quake Insured Losses Pegged at $40 Million to $60 Million

December 30, 2003

The earthquake that struck California’s central coast on Dec. 22 could generate insurance claims of between $40 million and $60 million. The initial shockwave, registering 6.5 on the Richter scale, was followed by nine aftershocks of at least 4.0 in the following three hours, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

While no claims data was reported as of Dec. 23, the Newark, Calif.-based Risk Management Solutions said insurers would feel a “moderate” impact from the claim. That hit could translate into mid-eight figure claims totals, according to RMS, which pointed out that levels of insurance and underinsurance in areas where the quake hit, primarily agricultural centers, were hard to predict.

Researchers reported that 41-60 buildings in the downtown Paso Robles area, located 24 miles from the quake’s epicenter, were damaged or destroyed.

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