A state of emergency was declared in Southern Napa County on Sunday after the strongest earthquake to strike Northern California in 25 years hit in the early hours of the morning. Registering a 6.0 magnitude, it is the largest trembler in the area since the 6.9-magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake caused $6 billion of property damage in 1989.

Continue Reading California Earthquake Damage Could Exceed $1 Billion

Northern Californians in Napa Valley were hit early Sunday morning with a 6.0 earthquake that caused substantial damage. The earthquake is one of the largest for the region in more than 25 years and was felt well into the Bay Area, with reports that the earthquake was felt as far as San Jose – waking residents in the San Jose region. The Governor declared a state of emergency and Napa residents and businesses are busy assessing the damage. Early photos and footage of the area shows significant structural damages to many businesses in Napa’s downtown region. By early evening, 33 structures had been red tagged, more have been yellow-tagged (which means it safe only to retrieve possessions) and it is unclear if that number will grow as government entities continue to survey the damaged areas.

Continue Reading California Earthquake Rattles Napa – How Will This Impact Wineries and Residents?

A new federal earthquake map shows an increased risk for about half of the United States.

Although I’ve previously posted on the increased earthquake risk in Oklahoma, this newly released data made a reminder seem reasonable. On July 17, 2014, the U.S. Geologic Survey updated its national seismic hazard maps for the first time since 2008, taking into account research from the devastating 2011 earthquake and tsunami off the Japanese coast and the 2011 Virginia temblor.1

Continue Reading New Survey Map Shows Increased Earthquake Risk For Nearly Half Of United States – Oklahoma Coverage Series

Perhaps a surprising thought at first blush, but Oklahoma residents have recently been advised to make sure Earthquake Coverage is included in their property damage insurance. The United States Geological Survey – the entity that tracks earthquakes and other seismic activity – released a statement indicating there are almost as many earthquakes rattling Oklahoma as California this year. This major increase in seismic shaking led to a recent and rare earthquake warning in Oklahoma from both the USGS and the Oklahoma Geological Survey.

Continue Reading Do I Need Earthquake Coverage…In Oklahoma?!? – Oklahoma Coverage Series

I blogged about earthquake “swarms” (multiple earthquakes clustered in the same region) that occurred in Southern California in September of 2012. Now, less than two years later, Southern California has been rocked by more swarms of a slightly greater magnitude. Approximately two weeks ago, on March 17, 2014 I was jolted awake around 6:30 am when a 4.2 magnitude earthquake struck in the mountain pass between the Westside and the Valley.

Continue Reading Recent Earthquake “Swarms” bring Rising Concern over Insurance Coverage Deficit in Southern California

Earthquakes, and in particular, preparation for the “Big One,” was very much in the news this past week.

On October 18th, over 9 million Californians participated in the Great California ShakeOut, an annual earthquake preparedness drill. Although I was not one of the participants, I certainly remember from my grade school days that one should drop to the floor, take cover under a desk or table, and hold on.

Continue Reading Californians are Still Waiting for the “Big One” — Preparedness is Key

I am asked all the time for my opinion regarding the purchase of earthquake insurance. The lawyer in me always wants to hedge my answer because the decision whether to purchase earthquake insurance is a difficult one – a homeowner must choose between an expensive policy or having no coverage for a catastrophic event. Empirical evidence suggests that most homeowners agree: 7 out of 8 Californians have no earthquake coverage even though there is a better than 50% chance of a significant magnitude earthquake striking in the next half-century. Given the values of homes in California, the decision to purchase earthquake insurance is one to be appropriately considered.

Continue Reading The Pros and Cons for Purchasing Earthquake Insurance

Monday morning, just before 3:30 a.m., I was shaken awake by a 3.2 earthquake. Although the earthquake is considered relatively small in magnitude, it shook for quite some time and toppled a few minor things around my home. September is National Preparedness Month, and Monday morning’s shaker was a good reminder that we should all make a plan in the event of a large earthquake catastrophe.

Continue Reading Southern California is “Swarming” with Earthquake Activity

On June 5, 2012, I wrote about ready.gov and reminded Californians that the best way to be ready for an earthquake was to plan ahead. A typical homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover a loss caused by an earthquake, so many homeowners have taken upon themselves to purchase another policy that provides earthquake insurance. In California, all earthquake policies can be obtained through various insurance carriers that have been approved by the California Earthquake Authority (CEA).

Continue Reading What Does Your Earthquake Policy Actually Cover?

Last March 2011, the earthquake and ensuing tsunami caused devastation to Japan. Homes and businesses were destroyed and the economic impact was felt globally. Even large shipments of vehicles were dumped into the ocean. The business losses to Japan based companies reached into the hundreds of millions.

Continue Reading Japan’s Earthquake More than a Year Later May Give Rise to West Coast Insurance Claims