Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Magnitude of an earthquake a good index of damage?

The magnitude of an earthquake is mainly related to the amount of energy that it releases. In other words, it is the size of an earthquake. Often, people confuse magnitude with damage or the consequences of an earthquake which are related to other measures such as the intensity of an earthquake. Intensities are not necessarily instrumented and are more subjective to the observations made after an earthquake. However, information gathered after an earthquake is of vital importance to assess the risk to the population and its’ infrastructure as well as to plan ahead.

Are you insured & are you sure about what your insurance company is really paying for?

If you have home insurance it is very likely that any earthquake-related damage will NOT be covered. Even if you are paying for specific earthquake insurance, it is still very likely that you’ll be paying all the repairs. The deductible in most earthquake insurance policies are based on a percentage of the TOTAL cost of the insured property and content, and not on the cost associated to the damage. Sometimes you just need to assess your property and content or provide a simple or cost effective solution to deal with potential earthquake damage. We can certainly help…

How much would a seismic upgrade for my house cost?

This is a very general question but there are some key factors that will affect the performance of a house under an earthquake. These include things like the age of the house, any upgrades, the connection of the house to its foundations or basement levels, weight and distribution of content, etc. Unfortunately, earthquakes are very hard to predict and very hard to generalize. In most seismically active areas, there are at least three different types of earthquake mechanisms that could trigger different damage scenarios in a house. Our recommendation is to get a quick assessment of your house based on your location and basic information about the structure and its content. The assessment will give you a risk estimation so you can make more informed decisions about whether you want to retrofit or buy additional insurance for your property and content.


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