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Author Topic: Insurance companies in Alaska revoking earthquake coverage....
rsamboragal
I Saw Three Shipments


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This was posted on my Geology class' discussion board. Wonder if it's true...
quote:

Here is an interesting piece of information to know; because Alaska has not suffered a major earthquake or volcanic eruption in so long insurance companies covering homeowners there are revoking their earthquake coverage. The companies are affraid that "the big one" is coming in the somewhat near future. After all of the recent natural disasters that have happened in the rest of the country, they are figuring they need to cancel the coverages for earthquakes because they think it will be too costly for them. So these poor homeowner's that have been paying for coverage for so long in case anything were to happen are going to be out of luck if anything does happen, along with wasting all that money all these years for a coverage the company will no longer honor. The upside is that they are attempting to sue the companies that are doing this, saying that they need to honor those clients that have been paying for coverage already. But those people that want new earthquake coverage will still be out of luck because the companies are no longer going to offer that coverage to anyone.

Something to think about because this could really happen to any of us or family we having living in places like...California!



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Michael Cole
Deck the Malls


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The possibility of future events is not governed by the past. If you toss a coin ten times and get all heads, the probability of either a head or a tail on the next toss is still 50/50. Obviously geologists don't understand probability or statistics...

In short, I would doubt it, because Insurance Companies make their living by probability and statistics. If they had any fear of "the big one", then it would be generated by knowledge of the current situation, not what happenned in the past.

--------------------
Q. What's the difference between a Computer saleman and a Used Car Salesman?
A. The Used Car Salesman knows when he is lying.

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niner domestic actual
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Maybe not major quakes, but they've had 73 since Sept 28 06 until Oct 1, 06. http://www.aeic.alaska.edu/Seis/recenteqs/index.html

IIRC, being on the continental divide makes for plate movement a regular thing (at least when I was a kid growing up in the YT we had a lot of quakes)

As for the insurance companies removing quake coverage? I don't ever remember having it (along with no coverage for a broken/cracked windshield as the Roadworks use 1/4" aggregate for traction).

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Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. Napoleon Bonaparte

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asnakeny
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Cole:
The possibility of future events is not governed by the past. If you toss a coin ten times and get all heads, the probability of either a head or a tail on the next toss is still 50/50. Obviously geologists don't understand probability or statistics...

I'm not sure if you were being facetious here, but earthquakes are not random occurances: they can only happen under very specific scenarios, so predictive models have to rely on past events in order to output meaningful data. If the OP is true, then it is the statisticians misunderstanding geology rather than the other way around.

--------------------
Is here no telephone?

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Michael Cole
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by asnakeny:
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Cole:
The possibility of future events is not governed by the past. If you toss a coin ten times and get all heads, the probability of either a head or a tail on the next toss is still 50/50. Obviously geologists don't understand probability or statistics...

I'm not sure if you were being facetious here, but earthquakes are not random occurances: they can only happen under very specific scenarios, so predictive models have to rely on past events in order to output meaningful data. If the OP is true, then it is the statisticians misunderstanding geology rather than the other way around.
The geologist quip was facetious, but the point wasn't.

I realise the above, which is why I said that "it would be generated by knowledge of the current situation". That is where predictive models have to start from.

The point is that simply because "Alaska has not suffered a major earthquake or volcanic eruption in so long" does not imply "that "the big one" is coming in the somewhat near future."

Earthquakes are not a automatic periodic event, and they do not get stored up in some sort of Earthquake Bank. They are generated by the environment. If you are living in an earthquake zone then you are more likely to have an earthquake than if you are not.

--------------------
Q. What's the difference between a Computer saleman and a Used Car Salesman?
A. The Used Car Salesman knows when he is lying.

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Niner
Deck the Malls


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Your point was wrong, though. Statistically unconnected events happening do not affect each other, like the flipping of a penny. However, earthquakes don't fit this model - they're more like the "black and white balls in a jar, pulled out and not replaced" statistical model, where past events *do* influence the likelyhood of future events.

In this case, the longer pressure has been building up, the bigger the release will likely be. The tectonic plates move at roughly an even pace, so if a fault is sticking, the longer it doesn't quake, the greater the energy stored up for the next quake.

Henry

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BoKu
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Michael Cole:
...Earthquakes are not a automatic periodic event, and they do not get stored up in some sort of Earthquake Bank...

I think that the truest response to that is "it depends." In the context of the seismology of the San Francisco bay area, earthquakes are very much the result of energy stored in the elastic deformation of plate edges. One of the most reliable indicators of the amount of energy stored in an area is the history of energy release, i.e. earthquakes, for that area.

Bob "penalty for early subduction" K.

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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In California, an earthquake policy costs so much and has such a high deductible, that I don't know anyone that carries it. Even the state subsidised plans are expensive. Maybe the policies are being cancelled because of low participation.

--------------------
I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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DaGuyWitBluGlasses
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Niner:
Your point was wrong, though. Statistically unconnected events happening do not affect each other, like the flipping of a penny. However, earthquakes don't fit this model - they're more like the "black and white balls in a jar, pulled out and not replaced" statistical model, where past events *do* influence the likelyhood of future events.

In this case, the longer pressure has been building up, the bigger the release will likely be. The tectonic plates move at roughly an even pace, so if a fault is sticking, the longer it doesn't quake, the greater the energy stored up for the next quake.

Henry

In terms of one earthquake happening then yes the pullin gballs out of a jar applies.

But when it comes to the BIG one happening, then its to our knowledge completely random, i.e. stresses can be released by many small earthquakes, or one big earthquake, we can't predict it.

If you had all the necessary scanning equipment you might be able to say, there HAS to be an earthquake at this exact location within the next month or so, but you would have no idea how the Geology will crumbel. It might be a big one, or it might be a small one. (or several small ones for a period of time.)

in summary:
the lack of earthquake activity might increase the chance for an earthquake.

But the lack of a major earthquake will not increase the chances of a major earthquake.

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BoKu
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by DaGuyWitBluGlasses:
...But when it comes to the BIG one happening, then its to our knowledge completely random...

Completely random? I disagree. I think a plot of the data demonstrates at least some statistically significant correlation. "Fairly random" or "relatively random?" I'd go with that.
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Adelaide
Remembrances of Things Bass


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So far as I know, it's only Allstate, and they're doing it nationwide. The bastards. Story here.

From the article:
quote:
Some 54 companies offered earthquake insurance in 2004, the last year statistics are available, taking in premiums totaling $12.3 million and paying out $36,000 in damage related to earthquakes, according to the division.
and
quote:
"It was not an easy decision to make," Gorand said. "It's something difficult for our customers, but we think it's a responsible decision for us in the long run."
So, profits over 12 million, but the responsible thing to do is cut and run. This gives me a brilliant idea: for Halloween this year I'll be a cold-hearted, blood-sucking Allstate insurance agent!

Why yes, I have(had) earthquake insurance with Allstate, why do you ask?

--------------------
Natural selection is a beguiling counterfeiter of deliberate purpose. - Richard Dawkins

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Keeper of the Mad Bunnies
Jingle Bell Hock


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quote:
Originally posted by DaGuyWitBluGlasses:
quote:
Originally posted by Niner:
Your point was wrong, though. Statistically unconnected events happening do not affect each other, like the flipping of a penny. However, earthquakes don't fit this model - they're more like the "black and white balls in a jar, pulled out and not replaced" statistical model, where past events *do* influence the likelyhood of future events.

In this case, the longer pressure has been building up, the bigger the release will likely be. The tectonic plates move at roughly an even pace, so if a fault is sticking, the longer it doesn't quake, the greater the energy stored up for the next quake.

Henry

In terms of one earthquake happening then yes the pullin gballs out of a jar applies.

But when it comes to the BIG one happening, then its to our knowledge completely random, i.e. stresses can be released by many small earthquakes, or one big earthquake, we can't predict it.

If you had all the necessary scanning equipment you might be able to say, there HAS to be an earthquake at this exact location within the next month or so, but you would have no idea how the Geology will crumbel. It might be a big one, or it might be a small one. (or several small ones for a period of time.)

in summary:
the lack of earthquake activity might increase the chance for an earthquake.

But the lack of a major earthquake will not increase the chances of a major earthquake.

The USGS disagrees with you.

Major Quake Likely to Strike San Francisco Bay Region Between 2003 and 2032

"On the basis of research conducted since the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other scientists conclude that there is a 62% probability of at least one magnitude 6.7 or greater quake, capable of causing widespread damage, striking the San Francisco Bay region before 2032."

James Powell

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annabohly
Jingle Bell Hock


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My oldest DS was born in Fairbanks, Ak 1991, 2:05am. There was a small earthquake that night, right around that timeframe.

ETA: My 300th post yay me!!

--------------------
And always remember....when life hands you Lemons, ask for tequila and salt and call me over !!!!!

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Adelaide:
So far as I know, it's only Allstate, and they're doing it nationwide. The bastards. Story here.

From the article:
quote:
Some 54 companies offered earthquake insurance in 2004, the last year statistics are available, taking in premiums totaling $12.3 million and paying out $36,000 in damage related to earthquakes, according to the division.
and
quote:
"It was not an easy decision to make," Gorand said. "It's something difficult for our customers, but we think it's a responsible decision for us in the long run."
So, profits over 12 million, but the responsible thing to do is cut and run. This gives me a brilliant idea: for Halloween this year I'll be a cold-hearted, blood-sucking Allstate insurance agent!

Why yes, I have(had) earthquake insurance with Allstate, why do you ask?

They are cancelling their earthquake plans nationwide though (eta: which you mentioned). Probably because they are already over exposed to catastrophic events and are already in it pretty deep with Hurricane Katrina losses.
http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2006/06/05/69165.htm

--------------------
I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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DaGuyWitBluGlasses
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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0% chance= not random
100% chance = not random

62% chance = Random

And that's based on combining other statistics, if you look at the map, not one fault has more than a 27% chance.

USGS agrees with me. Major earthquakes are random.

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Major earthquakes are both unpredictable and predictable. The USGS can't say on Dec 3, 2013 at 4:17 am a magnatude 6.7 earthquake will occur on the Calaveras Fault 6 miles under Mt. Hamilton. They can say that certain faultines are at a much higher risk of being the center of a major seismic event than others. And this area is so small that it doesn't really matter which faultline ruptures, we'll all be in pretty big trouble. And since I live here I pay a lot of attention to what that geology guy says when he comes on the radio, and every time he comes on he says the same thing. High likelihood of a major seismic event sometime in the next 30 years, which might be as soon as 5-10 years if some models are correct. A major earthquake will occur on at least one of the faultlines in the SF Bay Area. When, no-one knows, but it will happen. I don't consider that random.

--------------------
I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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00-Saleen
Deck the Malls


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I saw a program on the History Channel shortly before I moved here about the New Madrid earthquake. I think they said that the scale of damage to Memphis and St. Louis, should another big one strike, would be more catastrophic than elsewhere because the mid-south isn't prepared for it. (They offer earthquake insurance here, too.) So it's just a matter of time til we're ALL DOOOOOMED! [Eek!]
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btvsrcks
I Saw Three Shipments


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This was actually reported by our news here in Western Washington. Actually they said it was because the risk wasn't offsetting the reward. It wasn't "Cost Effective" was the exact quote I think.

And it was only Allstate. Although, I have allstate and they supposedly sent out a letter, but I never received one.

We are going to switch very soon.

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Penny
Deck the Malls


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I'm with Allstate and received the letter. The final straw was that they removed the earthquake coverage (for which I was paying extra) yet left the rates the same.

I'm already fed up with their constant nagging for me to buy car insurance from them; now I'm intending to ditch them entirely.

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Rhiandmoi
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Many insurers raised rates in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/11/07/AR2005110701461.html

--------------------
I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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BlueByrd
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Not relevant in the least, but I'd like to take a moment and dwell on the snigger I could not suppress when, in the course of browsing a thread about earthquakes and Alaska, I happened upon Asnakeny's sig line.

To which, by the way, I can only say "No, sir - god damn me, NO."

Blue "Not paying for your whiskey, either" Byrd

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"A monster!"
"A local!"


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Jason Threadslayer
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by DoubleNaughtSaleen:
I think they said that the scale of damage to Memphis and St. Louis, should another big one strike, would be more catastrophic than elsewhere because the mid-south isn't prepared for it.

Plus seismic waves in the eastern US propogate further due to the composition of the earth.

The 1886 Charleston, SC, quake was felt in Boston, Bermuda, Havana, and Chicago. It did damage in Alabama, Ohio, and Virginia.

It'd be like a quake in San Francisco doing damage in Los Angeles.

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All posts foretold by Nostradamus.

Turing test failures: 6

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