This question asks you to complete the argument and a careful observation will reveal that the correct answer choice should be a premise that strengthens the argument. The use of 'because' and 'that' in the last sentence are indicators to what we are expected to find in the answer choices.
Now, if we read the argument carefully, we understand that the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake destroyed more than half of the city but it's concluded that much of the city was damaged by fire. (This should ring a bell in your mind - how come most of the damage was caused by fire during an earthquake?)
The next sentence states that fire caused 90% of the destruction, however, this figure is exaggerated because properties in San Francisco are insured against fire but not earthquake. So, in essence, we have to look for an answer choice that strengthens the fact that the damage, though caused by earthquake, was blamed on fire due to the insurance factor.
Let's look at the answer choices.Option A
states exactly what we had pre-phrased after reading the argument. It strengthens the fact that the figures were distorted because most of the damage was blamed on fire in order to claim insurance.Option B
is slightly out of scope - we are not interested in whether the city is rebuilt or not.Option C
is again out of scope - we are not interested in knowing whether the insurance companies were forced to offer earthquake coverage.Option D
is a shell game answer - the fact that the insurance does not cover earthquake damages is used and distorted to create this answer choice which speaks of residents moving to other cities where earthquake coverage is offered.Option E
is incorrect as well. We are not concerned whether the buildings damaged by fire were repaired or not.Option A
clearly is the correct answer, with most other options easy enough to be eliminated.
Hope this helps
MBA Candidate 2015 | Georgetown University
McDonough School of Business