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Check out the recent earthquakes and faults near you and estimate the damage from the potential earthquake to your home

I recently came across the website and a blog by Volkan Sevilgen with some very interesting tools to access the potential damage to the unretrofitted buildings.  It offers information about the odds for different amount of damage based on the building location, year of construction, size and cost to rebuild.  I’d say that if you live in the old house in Bay Area today, the odds are not in your favor.  Check this out: http://beta.temblor.net/

You protect yourself against other risks, right?  Why not against quakes?  You have a home insurance to protect yourself against a house fire or other damage, as a business owner you have insurance to to protect yourself against the a major lawsuit, you have a car insurance against totaling your precious car.  The odds of these events happening vary from 1.7 to 5%.  However, the probability of the major expensive rebuilding effort after an earthquake approaches in the Bay Area approaches 7% or higher depending on the number of factors.  See below information from temblor.net on the basis of these estimates:

Major injury
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
17 per 10,000 full-time workers in 2011 suffered non-fatal major injuries (cuts, lacerations, punctures, fractures). So, 17/10,000 x 30 yr x 100 = 5.1% over 30 yr.

Getting sued
US Civil Court, Table C-2, US District Court, Civil Cases Commenced by Suit, in 2013: 284,000 filings, 2014: 295,000 filings
318.8M adult population x 0.77 adult = 244M adults
284K/244M = 0.001 or 0.1% per year x 30 yr =0.035 = 3.5% in 30 yr

Totaling my car
13M cars in CA; average US driver files a claim at the rate of 1/17.9 yr
Des Toups, writing in 27 Jul 2011 Forbes reports that there are 10,000,000 accidents/yr in US, 1,000 of them fatal. The source of this information appears to be http://www.carinsurance.com. Here, we make the crude assumption that for the 10,000,000 accidents, 10% of these highly damage the car, and 1% total the car. So, 10,000/13M cars is 0.00076 x 30 yr = 0.023 = 2.3% in 30 yr.

Burning Down my house (2 estimates averaged)
(1) “The odds of your house burning down are pretty small. It happens to just 0.08% of U.S. citizens.” -Randy Watson, CLU, BCE, 22 Aug 2009,Examiner Article. So, 0.08% per year x 30 yr= 2.4% in 30 yr.

(2) In 2010 there were 362,100 residential fires in the USA causing $6.65 billion in damages.
According to the Census there are 131 million housing units in the US and 114 million households. So, 0.276% of housing units had a fire in the year, with average property damage of $18,365. If we assume that only 10% of the homes burned down, then 0.03% of individual homes are destroyed by fire in a year. For 30 yrs, 0.03% x 30 = 0.9% in 30 yr.


Averaging the two estimates yields 1.65% in 30 years.


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