The 6.0 magnitude earthquake that shook the region of Napa Valley on Sunday caused insurers more fear than harm. Although it is the most violent one to have taken place in California since 1994, the Insurance Information Institute (III) predicts that the earthquake in Napa will result in insured losses well below $1 billion US.
The III also expects the number of claims to be lower in this instance than was the case in the most expensive earthquake in history of the United States, which occurred in the Northridge, California area in 1994. In 2013 dollars, insured losses from that event resulted in $24.1 billion US of insured losses, and generated almost 200,000 claims.
One of the reasons for the lower level of losses is the fact that few Americans are insured against earthquakes. This under-insurance is behind some of the III's forecasts in the Napa region. While the average number of Californians whose homes or property is insured against earthquakes hovers around 10%, only 6% of people in Napa Valley are covered against this risk.