The Taiwan Residential Earthquake Insurance Fund has estimated that claims for residential property damage would be at least NT$137 million (US$4.7 million) arising from the 6.0 magnitude quake which hit Hualien County in eastern Taiwan last Tuesday.
The Insurance Bureau of the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said that there were to date 81 residential units in the quake-hit area that had been insured. With each homeowner given a maximum of NT$1.5 million in compensation and an additional NT$200,000 in temporary housing relief, the total compensation for damaged residential property would be around NT$136 million to date.
The region is still experiencing aftershocks from Tuesday's quake. Estimates of damage suffered by commercial properties are not yet available.
The February quake has killed at least 10 people and injured more than 260, with several others said to be missing. The earthquake struck exactly two years after a 6.4-magnitude quake that hit northeast of Pingtung City in southern Taiwan, killing 117 people and causing total economic losses of more than NT$20 billion.
Despite Taiwan being a quake-prone island, the proportion of residential units without quake insurance is estimated at 67%. The majority of those with quake insurance bought the cover as a condition of securing a bank loan.
Meanwhile, the National Centre for Research on Earthquake Engineering has called for new laws to encourage the reconstruction of weaker structures, following the partial collapse of buildings during Tuesday’s earthquake.