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More Quake Coverage Needed in Southeast Missouri

Most homeowners in southeast Missouri are unlikely to have insurance coverage for losses from an earthquake.
March 10, 2021

During a recent Zoom discussion about earthquake risks in the South-Central United States, Jeff Briggs of the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency said most homeowners in southeast Missouri are unlikely to have insurance coverage for losses from an earthquake. He said many may be unaware that homeowners insurance typically does not include earthquake loss, and that the coverage must be purchased as an endorsement at extra cost.

Briggs cited data from the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance showing lower rates of coverage in the “boot-heel” of southeastern Missouri, near the heart of the seismic zone where risk runs higher. Briggs said the gap in coverage rates is an issue not just in Missouri but in areas surrounding the New Madrid seismic zone. He said Missouri officials are working with insurance companies and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to find solutions to make insurance more available and affordable. Hilda Booth, earthquake program manager at the state Emergency Management Division, said the chances of a large earthquake were “very real.”

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