If a major earthquake were to occur in Missouri, forecasters predict most of the state would be affected, but especially the southeast. Chris Cline with the Missouri Department of Insurance says 31% of homes in Missouri have earthquake insurance and that number drops to 20% in the Bootheel, which is along the most active earthquake zone in the country.
“In the New Madrid Seismic Zone, we are calling it an earthquake coverage crisis at this point because it is a very low number obviously,” said Cline.
Cline encourages Missourians to consider purchasing coverage because federal government assistance only goes so far.
“There’s some miseducation in which some homeowners might not buy coverage, expecting the federal government to help them rebuild their home should a major earthquake hit,” said Cline. “But under FEMA’s individual assistance program, the maximum grant award is $32,900, which is far less than what most homes are worth.”
Cline said the price of coverage will depend on location but on average, it will run about $134 a year in Missouri.
Schools, businesses, hospitals and organizations in Missouri will participate in a statewide earthquake drill Thursday morning.
“With the drill, we are strongly encouraging consumers to check their policies to make sure they do have coverage in place,” said Cline. If they don’t, talk with their agents about purchasing earthquake coverage. Most homeowners policies don’t cover damage from earthquakes.”
More than 400,000 Missourians will participate in the drill.