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05 Apr 16 14:03

Switzerland is an earthquake country and most of its building stock has no or insufficient insurance cover against earthquake.

The Swiss Seismological Service published a new seismic hazard map for Switzerland last September. The seismic hazard map shows that the highest hazard is in Wallis followed by Basel, Grisons, St. Gallen's Rhine valley and central Switzerland.

However, a major earthquake can happen anywhere in Switzerland, and at any time. On average one can expect a damaging earthquake, those with a magnitude 5 and larger, to occur every 10-20 years. Major damaging earthquakes, with magnitudes of 6 and larger, are expected to occur every 50-150 years. To reflect this, the new map is dominated by yellow, orange, red and even violet colors. They should make people aware that also Switzerland is an earthquake country. However, insurance penetration in Switzerland still remains low.

A new Swiss Re study shows that should a major earthquake strike in central Switzerland, not all homeowners will be able to absorb the resulting financial loss. Some may not end pay back their loans and default on their mortgage. This has severe consequences in first line for the affected individual homeowners but also for society they live in, the surrounding local economy and not least also for their mortgage providers. Earthquake coverage is one option to further close this Nat Cat protection gap. A gap which is also prevalent in Switzerland!


Category: Climate/natural disasters: Disaster risk, Earthquakes, Resilience

Location: Switzerland


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