The companies listed below were offering new earthquake insurance policies in the regions checked (✓) as of January 2013. Each company has different restrictions on types of homes they cover and the coverage they offer. Contact the company or an agent who represents that company to find out if you can obtain coverage for your home.
Top 20 homeowners insurers (sorted by descending market share)
|Southeast Missouri||St. Louis||Kansas City||Springfield||Columbia|
|State Farm Fire and Casualty Co.|
|American Family Mutual Insurance Co.|
|Shelter Mutual Insurance Co.|
|AAA (Auto Club Family Insurance Co.)||
|Travelers Home and Marine Insurance Co.|
|Farmers Insurance Exchange|
|Farm Bureau Town & Country Insurance Company of Missouri|
|Safeco Insurance Company of America|
|Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Co.|
|Nationwide Affinity Insurance Co. (Allied)|
|Mid Century Insurance Co. (Farmers)|
|United Services Automobile Association (USAA)|
|Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co.|
|Fire Insurance Exchange (Farmers)|
|Allstate Indemnity Co.|
|Standard Fire Insurance Co. (Travelers)|
|Allstate Insurance Co.|
|USAA Casualty Insurance Co.|
|Country Mutual Insurance Co.|
|Auto Owners Insurance Co.||
Did not respond to survey.
About earthquake insurance
While consumers may think of California when considering earthquakes, Missouri has been identified as an area that could experience large-scale earthquakes. Californians indeed buy the most earthquake insurance, but Missouri ranks third among all states in total premium volume at more than $88 million. Earthquake coverage is not included on most homeowners insurance policies. It must be purchased as separate coverage, called an "endorsement." This type of insurance requires that the earthquake is the direct cause of damage to the property. Natural disasters can, in many instances, trigger other events that may also damage property. One example is earthquakes causing bodies of water to produce waves, resulting in flooding.
What is covered
Earthquake coverage pays for damage caused by the shaking and cracking that can damage homes. Other damage indirectly caused by earthquakes may be covered by other insurance. Fire and water damage due to burst gas and water pipes - even though it may be caused by a quake - is generally covered by the standard portion of the homeowners policy. Earthquake damage to vehicles is covered by the comprehensive portion of auto policies.
Pricing and availability
Earthquake insurance usually features two high deductibles: Rather than a dollar amount, it's a percentage of the cost of rebuilding the home and a separate deductible for the home's contents. Deductibles of 10-15 percent are common. For example, with a 15 percent deductible, the owner of a $200,000 home could expect to pay up to $30,000 in deductibles for damage to the dwelling before receiving any benefit from their earthquake insurance policy.
The material used to build the home can also determine premiums or whether your home is even insurable. For instance, rates may be cheaper for wood-frame homes, which withstand tremors better than homes made of masonry such as brick and stone. Single-story homes may also receive better rates as they tend to sustain less damage from an earthquake. Age of the home can also affect premiums. Some insurers will not offer earthquake insurance for masonry homes.