Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

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crowd79
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Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by crowd79 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:27 am

Just thinking about that meteor that struck central Russia yesterday. What if something like this had happened in a heavily populated area like New York. Would insurance even cover the damage from glass and possibly millions being injured? Just a thought...

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by Call_Me_Op » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:36 am

crowd79 wrote:Just thinking about that meteor that struck central Russia yesterday. What if something like this had happened in a heavily populated area like New York. Would insurance even cover the damage from glass and possibly millions being injured? Just a thought...
Note that the injuries are not limited to the flying glass related. The intense pressure wave will burst eardrums and cause other mechanical and neurological damage to the ear. This may not seem significant - but it would be life-altering for the victims.

As far as whether insurance would cover the property damage - good question. I think they would try to weasel-out, particularly if the damage were widespread.
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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by SSSS » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:43 am

You would have to read the individual policy. They're not all the same.

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by crowd79 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:46 am

Just read this, apparently most homeowner's policies would cover:

http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?sectio ... id=8995276

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by The Wizard » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:55 am

The meteor thing was an Act of God, if insurance policies still use that language...
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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by nisiprius » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:57 am

No idea, but I'm swearing off using the phrase "the chances of being hit by a meteor."
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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by sport » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:43 pm

Some years ago, I read an explanation of the various types of homeowners policies. The less expensive ones, cover a specific list of hazards. If it is not on the list, it is not covered. The better (more expensive) policies cover everything, except what is on a short list. Acts of war and radioactivity are generally not covered. I don't know if these differences are still in effect.
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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by PaleHorse » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:47 pm

On a somewhat related level, why is the federal government always on the hook for the effects of natural disasters and not private insurance? i.e Katrina, Sandy...

Can this be answered w/o going into politics?

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by Cosmo » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:15 pm

PaleHorse wrote:On a somewhat related level, why is the federal government always on the hook for the effects of natural disasters and not private insurance? i.e Katrina, Sandy...

Can this be answered w/o going into politics?
To answer your second question, of course, it cannot...

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by Quasimodo » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:24 pm

PaleHorse wrote:On a somewhat related level, why is the federal government always on the hook for the effects of natural disasters and not private insurance? i.e Katrina, Sandy...

Can this be answered w/o going into politics?
I thought this was a good discussion of some reasons why the government is involved in flood insurance:

http://www.xmastips.com/home-insurance/ ... insurance/

excerpt:

“Flood typically doesn’t happen to just one house in an area, and it doesn’t have small losses. It’s SO widespread when it happens, and the damages are SO high, that an insurance company cannot charge enough money to cover the claims. Even FEMA doesn’t charge enough money to cover the claims – the American taxpayers pony up a huge chunk of the change, and coverage is capped at $ 250,000 per house – which won’t come close to the cost of damages for many of the houses damaged during Sandy.”

Quoted merely as a possible source of information. I am not affiliated with this website.

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Last edited by Quasimodo on Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by Geologist » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:25 pm

PaleHorse wrote:On a somewhat related level, why is the federal government always on the hook for the effects of natural disasters and not private insurance? i.e Katrina, Sandy...

Can this be answered w/o going into politics?
Some of this can be answered without politics. Private insurers don't like covering risks that will affect many policyholders at once in a limited geographic area (even as large as a state). Consequently, they exclude natural disasters (e.g., flooding, earthquakes) from their coverage. If insurance is to be available (as it is via the federal government for floods and at the state level for hurricanes and earthquakes), then government has to be involved. Discussion about how this insurance is provided (kind and rates) does become a political question, so I'll stop there.

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by papito23 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:25 pm

Quasimodo wrote: I thought this was a good discussion of some reasons why the government is involved in flood insurance:

http://www.xmastips.com/home-insurance/ ... insurance/
Also, NPR's Planet Money put out this <5 min podcaston gov't involvement in flood insurance. PM often nails it (economic issues) in terms of accessibility, depth, and entertainment.
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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by Quasimodo » Sat Feb 16, 2013 4:41 pm

Thanks for the link to the podcast, Papito. Great explanation!

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by dratkinson » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:01 pm

Long ago I understood it was most unwise to live in hurricane-prone regions, in the tornado belt, in a flood plain, or west of the San Andreas fault. So I intentionally moved to a less affected region and ensured I bought a home NOT in a flood plain. Then I bought the insurance I needed to cover the remaining conventional risks. (I fully understand that if the super-volcano at Yellowstone blows, I'm SOL.)

I would not disagree with federal flood insurance... if the policy premiums were full borne, and only borne, by the policy holders---actuarial tables should apply, just like in life insurance. But I'm strongly against having to subsidize others' more risky decisions when I chose a less risky path for myself.

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by freebeer » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:10 pm

nisiprius wrote:No idea, but I'm swearing off using the phrase "the chances of being hit by a meteor."
Ha, but this whole thread is a perfect example of recency bias. I mean, do you stop flying because a plane crashed yesterday? What was newsworthy about what happened is precisely that it is so rare.

And let's face it 1200 people slightly injured (no deaths or even critical injuries), $33M damages... that is just small stuff, a level of natural disaster that happens somewhere on our planet on an almost weekly basis. A few months ago Sandy killed 125 (US alone, well over 200 all told) and caused $62B in damages - that's 2,000 times the damages.

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by baw703916 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:54 pm

It's worth noting that nobody actually got hit by the meteorite yesterday.
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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by Alan S. » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:01 pm

The most common form of Homeowners Insurance is all risk except exclusions on the buildings and broad named perils on the personal property.

Meteors are not excluded from the all risk coverage, and for the personal property, one of the named perils is "falling objects" under "broad form" coverage.

Only under the most basic forms of Homeowners and fire insurance (basic perils), would a meteor not be covered, and these minimum coverage Homeowners policies are extremely rare.

http://myavantiservices.wordpress.com/2 ... -coverage/

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by 555 » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:14 pm

If only the dinosaurs had insurance ....

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by gnosis » Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:24 pm

Black Swan insurance is what you're looking for. BTW the scientists calculated that the chances of a meteor and an asteroid both coming so close to Earth on the same day... yesterday... was 1 in 100 million.

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by nedsaid » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:05 am

I am reminded of the old Grocho Marx joke about insurance. The fine print says you are only covered if you are run over by a herd of wild elephants at 3:00 in the morning!!
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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by JMacDonald » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:25 am

Here is a video of the one that came close but missed the earth: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130217.html
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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by z3r0c00l » Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:36 am

Note that the injuries are not limited to the flying glass related. The intense pressure wave will burst eardrums and cause other mechanical and neurological damage to the ear. This may not seem significant - but it would be life-altering for the victims.
Not in an explosion of this power. At overpressures strong enough to cause perm. hearing damage, lots of people would die from collapsed buildings and flying debris. This event was probably 1 or at most, 2 psi. You are talking about 3 - 5 psi, 3 - 5 PSI over a large city would kill thousands.

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by Call_Me_Op » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:50 am

z3r0c00l wrote:
Note that the injuries are not limited to the flying glass related. The intense pressure wave will burst eardrums and cause other mechanical and neurological damage to the ear. This may not seem significant - but it would be life-altering for the victims.
Not in an explosion of this power. At overpressures strong enough to cause perm. hearing damage, lots of people would die from collapsed buildings and flying debris. This event was probably 1 or at most, 2 psi. You are talking about 3 - 5 psi, 3 - 5 PSI over a large city would kill thousands.
This explosion certainly was powerful enough to burst eardrums (see 3rd paragraph at http://guyspeed.com/russian-meteor-event-video/). If an explosion is loud enough to burst an eardrum, it can also result in permanent tinnitus, which at some level is related to permanent damage to the inner ear.
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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by Cosmo » Sun Feb 17, 2013 8:56 am

gnosis wrote:Black Swan insurance is what you're looking for. BTW the scientists calculated that the chances of a meteor and an asteroid both coming so close to Earth on the same day... yesterday... was 1 in 100 million.
It's is nonsense. Meteors bombard the earth on a daily basis.

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by gnosis » Sun Feb 17, 2013 9:32 am

I actually agree. I don't see how it could be 1 in 100M. I won't go into it further, don't want to digress from OP.

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by 555 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:03 pm

I can easily see how 1 in 100,000,000 is a fair estimate of the probability of an event of this ilk.

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by Call_Me_Op » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:10 pm

555 wrote:I can easily see how 1 in 100,000,000 is a fair estimate of the probability of an event of this ilk.
Probability of what - an event like this anywhere on earth in a given year, what are we talking about?
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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by 555 » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:07 pm

gnosis wrote:"BTW the scientists calculated that the chances of a meteor and an asteroid both coming so close to Earth on the same day... yesterday... was 1 in 100 million."
Cosmo wrote:"It's is nonsense. Meteors bombard the earth on a daily basis."
555 wrote:I can easily see how 1 in 100,000,000 is a fair estimate of the probability of an event of this ilk.
Call_Me_Op wrote:"Probability of what - an event like this anywhere on earth in a given year, what are we talking about?"
Ask gnosis for the original source. Presumably it's something like, on a specific day T, an asteroid of mass at least M, passes within distance D of earth and on the same day a meteor of mass at least N hits the Earth.

If one is a one in a hundred year event and the other is a one in a ten year event, then there's your 100 million (~100*365*10*365).

This is not rocket science.

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:37 pm

555 wrote: This is not rocket science.
But it is rock science. :happy

CNN's version of 10^-8 probability:
http://www.cnn.com/2013/02/16/opinion/u ... index.html

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by Call_Me_Op » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:51 pm

555 wrote: If one is a one in a hundred year event and the other is a one in a ten year event, then there's your 100 million (~100*365*10*365).

This is not rocket science.
The analysis is trivial. I just wanted to know what we were talking about.
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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by dratkinson » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:52 pm

Annual event probability of a meteor entering our atmosphere?

One word: The annual Perseid/Leonid meteor showers.

(Okay, 6 words.)

Awoke my neighbors one year (~0300) to watch one. Had hot cocoa and lounge chairs/blankets ready. They were annoyed that they only saw ~1 meteor per minute. The forecast was for ~100/hour.
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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by gnosis » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:08 pm

555 wrote: Ask gnosis for the original source. Presumably it's something like, on a specific day T, an asteroid of mass at least M, passes within distance D of earth and on the same day a meteor of mass at least N hits the Earth.

If one is a one in a hundred year event and the other is a one in a ten year event, then there's your 100 million (~100*365*10*365).

This is not rocket science.
I don't know the original source. It was stated in countless headlines though.

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Re: Would insurance cover a meteor/sonic boom damage?

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:17 pm

This thread has diverged from the original insurance question to probabilities of cosmic events. There's no added value to continue; this topic is locked. See: Forum Policy
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