October 19, 2016

The Great Central U.S. “Shakeout” drill on Oct 20th reminds Missourians about the need for earthquake insurance coverage

Jefferson City, Mo - As over 500,000 Missourians get ready to participate in the 2016 Great Central U.S. ShakeOut at 10:20 am Thursday, Oct. 20, the Missouri Department of Insurance reminds residents who live in at-risk areas to consider earthquake insurance.

"Missourians who live in areas that may be impacted by an earthquake should make sure they have added earthquake coverage to their homeowners' policy," said John Huff, director of the Insurance Department. “Knowing what to do during an earthquake is very important.  But it is also important to protect your financial assets should you need to rebuild or recover. Missourians who need coverage but don’t yet have coverage are encouraged to buy insurance for their belongings, homes and businesses."

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.

Despite Missouri’s increased earthquake risk due to their New Madrid Seismic Zone proximity, the department’s supplement to the 2015 Earthquake Report indicates Missouri's earthquake insurance market continues to shrink while premiums continue to rise. Less than one in five homes in Missouri's New Madrid area had earthquake coverage in 2015, leaving more than a half million Missourians at risk of catastrophic financial loss following an earthquake.

Since 2000, 67 insurance companies have withdrawn from the Missouri earthquake insurance market. To help Missourians find coverage, the department provides an online list of insurance companies that offer earthquake insurance.

Consumers with questions about earthquake coverage are encouraged to call the department’s Insurance Consumer Hotline at 1-800-726-7390 and visit insurance.mo.gov/earthquake.