In recognition of February as Earthquake Consciousness Month, the Missouri Division of Commerce and Insurance coverage (DCI) has printed the most recent findings of its earthquake preparedness report, which revealed that residents of the New Madrid Seismic Zone stay “largely uninsured.”
The New Madrid Seismic Zone is a continuing supply of intraplate earthquakes, the place a lot of the seismic exercise is detected between three and 15 miles beneath the Earth’s floor. 4 of the most important earthquakes in North American historical past originated from the zone, with magnitudes as massive as 7.0. It has been reported that earthquakes from the zone threaten seven US states – Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
The DCI produces an Earthquake Insurance coverage Market Report every year to trace protection ranges in at-risk areas of the New Madrid Seismic Zone. It discovered that because it started monitoring this data almost 30 years in the past, the variety of residences with earthquake protection has “declined dramatically.”
A launch from the DCI famous that inside a six-county part of southern Missouri, the variety of houses with earthquake protection fell by over 47% between 2000 and 2020, from 60.2% to 12.7%.
“We proceed to be involved in regards to the lack of earthquake protection in Missouri,” mentioned DCI director and NAIC president Chlora Lindley-Myers. “As a division, we’ll proceed to work with the insurance coverage trade, native and state authorities, emergency administration, and with our surrounding states to construct consciousness, educate, and search for options to this earthquake insurance coverage hole. We should be ready earlier than a serious occasion occurs within the New Madrid Seismic Zone.”
The DCI has steered in a launch that whereas the decline in earthquake insurance coverage ranges may very well be attributed to the escalating prices of protection within the space, one other issue could also be that residents mistakenly consider their common owners’ insurance coverage will cowl quake-related harm.
Citing analysis the DCI carried out along with NAIC and the College of Missouri’s Catastrophe and Neighborhood Disaster Heart, the company mentioned that many owners and renters within the area wrongly assume that earthquakes are lined by their conventional owners or renters insurance coverage. DCI has suggested that earthquake protection should be bought individually.
The newest and notable earthquake exercise to rock the US was the magnitude 6.4 quake that struck Northern California on December 2022. Thought of the area’s strongest in years, the quake led to “widespread damages” and energy interruptions.