Planning for your recovery before an earthquake occurs
"The southeastern quadrant of Missouri includes the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which experiences around 200 small earthquakes per year. Yet, the most at-risk consumers don’t seem to know their homeowners or renters policies don’t cover earthquake damage. We are concerned and want consumers to know where they stand before a major earthquake occurs. Do you know if you’re covered?”
– Chlora Lindley-Myers
Director, Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance
Did you know earthquakes are not covered under your regular homeowners insurance policy? Take these steps to learn more about earthquakes and plan for your family's recovery.
If a major earthquake happens, are you prepared?
Although Missouri may not immediately come to mind when thinking about earthquakes, a major fault line runs through the southeastern corner of the state. A study by the U.S. Geological Survey estimates the probability of a magnitude 7.5 or greater earthquake in the New Madrid zone over the next 50 years is 7-10 percent. The probability of an earthquake exceeding magnitude 6 over the same period is 25-40 percent. A joint assessment by the Mid-America Earthquake Center of the University of Illinois and the Federal Emergency Management Agency predicts the New Madrid event could constitute the highest total economic loss of any natural disaster in U.S. history.
No matter what type of disaster Missourians face, it is critical that every family has a plan for both readiness and financial recovery following that event. Whatever that plan may be, it’s important for consumers to know about what options they may have and what issues need to be considered to adequately prepare for an earthquake. Your homeowners policy does not cover damage from an earthquake. Earthquake coverage must be purchased as separate coverage, called an "endorsement" or as a stand-alone policy. Check with your insurance agent to see if you have this coverage in place.
Are you ready? Do you have a plan? If not, you may want to explore the information provided to determine what you need in order to be prepared.
Percentage of residences in the New Madrid area of Missouri with earthquake insurance.
U.S. Market for Earthquake Insurance
How To Prepare
Earthquakes occur with no warning, that is why it is important to prepare. Follow these tips and sign up for the ShakeOut earthquake drill. The drill occurs annually on the third Thursday of October.