February 17, 2016

Earthquake Awareness Month reminds Missourians to review insurance coverage

Homeowners policies typically do not cover earthquakes

Jefferson City, Mo- The Missouri Department of Insurance is encouraging Missourians to review their homeowners insurance coverage during Earthquake Awareness Month. Homeowners policies typically do not include earthquake coverage and it must be purchased separately.  

"Missouri is located in the New Madrid Seismic Zone which is the most active earthquake zone east of the Rocky Mountains," said John M. Huff, director of the Department of Insurance.  "Due to our proximity to the fault, Missouri homes are at risk and homeowners need to review their policies and speak to their agent to ensure their property and investments are protected."

The Missouri Geological Survey says each year they detect more than 200 micro seismic earthquakes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Southeast Missouri is most prone to earthquakes since this part of the state is located right on the fault.  Historical records show that at least three of the largest earthquakes recorded in the continental United States occurred in this area between 1811 and 1812 ­- the largest occurred Feb 7, 1812.

Today, almost 563,000 residences in counties most prone to earthquakes are not covered for earthquake losses. According to the 2015 Earthquake Report released by the department, insured residential properties in 2014 totaled $101 billion while uninsured residential property damage from a magnitude 7-7.9 earthquake is estimated at $100 billion. Missourians should consider earthquake insurance to protect their home and assets.

Watch DIFP Weekly - Earthquake Insurance to learn more about coverage and misconceptions. Visit insurance.mo.gov/earthquake for additional information about earthquake insurance and call 800-726-7390 with earthquake coverage questions.

Additionally, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is hosting a number of earthquake education events in February to teach people about earthquake history, basics and preparedness.