Apart from buildings subsidence insurance, one of the standard covers on your buildings insurance policy is damage caused by earthquakes. Now you may think that the probability of this sort of damage is miniscule, but you may be surprised to know that the UK suffers from around 200 earthquakes per year. Admittedly roughly 175 of these are not even detectable by humans, but there have been cases where the severity has been noticeable.
The biggest occurred on the Llyn Peninsula in Wales in 1984 with a magnitude of 5.4 on the Richter scale, although the more recent quake on 27th February 2008 in Market Rasen, Lincolnshire caused more damage and measured 5.2, the tremors of which were felt as far afield as Hampshire in the south, Tyneside in the north and Bangor, Northern Ireland in the west. I was asleep at the time, so when the girlfriend told me about it in the morning I was gutted that I couldn’t have come out with the old one liner above!
Although there were no deaths, a man in Wombwell, near Barnsley, had a bit of a shock as he was lying on his bed and a chimney pot crashed through the ceiling breaking his pelvis. There was also structural damage to numerous homes, businesses and other properties, notably the steeples of various churches in Eastern England including St. Mary Magdalene in Waltham on the Wolds, Leicestershire, the spire of which cost over £100,000 to repair.
All of this of course pails into insignificance compared with the ‘Great Chilean Earthquake’ of 1960 which was the most ferocious since records began measuring a hefty 9.5 on the Richter scale. 2,000,000 people were left homeless, with over 1,650 people killed in all and over 3,000 injured, although this figure could have been much higher. Fortunately there was a foreshock which provoked most of the people of Valdivia to escape the buildings before the main quake hit. Many of these deaths however were caused not by the quake itself but from the subsequent tsunami which ripped across the Pacific at speeds of upto 200 mph.
The whole of the Pacific rim was affected, with many of Hawaii’s coastal buildings destroyed and 61 people killed. A full 22 hours later, 18ft waves travelling at a hellish rate of knots hit the coasts of Japan tearing down 1600 buildings and leaving hundreds of people dead or missing.
Anyway, enough of this scaremongering! The fact still remains that you can get yourself covered for any eventuality at a competitive premium here at CompareCrazy. From earthquakes to buildings subsidence insurance. CompareCrazy.com. The business insurance comparison site!