Do you think Missourians need earthquake insurance?
Wed, 08 Jun 2011 15:17:07 GMT —
A 4.2 magnitude earthquake shook Missouri early Tuesday morning and has some wondering if they need earthquake insurance.
We checked with insurance agencies and found out most homeowner insurance policies don't cover insurance damage.
So if you want to be protected from an earthquake you have to ask about it specifically.
American Family Insurance Tim Eubank says it's a good idea because you cannot predict when an earthquake will happen.
"My personal opinion is if it put's your mind at ease to have that coverage you need to have it. If you don't think you need it that's fine too," Eubank said.
"If you believe you have the exposure and you want to cover the exposures you need to seek ways to do that. If you're comfortable enough that if it happens and you can afford to replace your home then maybe you don't need the coverage," Missouri Association of Insurance Agents Larry Case said.
But just a small minority of homeowners have earthquake insurance. Insure.com says in this MSN article that even in California, where earthquake fears are a daily fact of life, only about 12 percent of homeowners have earthquake insurance.
How likely is it that a major quake will affect Mid-Missouri? According to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the chance of a major earthquake like the one that hit the New Madrid Fault Zone in 1811, a magnitude 7.5 quake is 7-10 percent. Even then the department's web site indicates the damage in Mid-Missouri would likely be minor.
Earthquake insurance may not cover everything that gets damaged, and may come with a high deductible.
"If it knocks a cabinet over and you have a $200,000 home at 10-percent that's a $20,000 deductible. But if it knocks your house down it's very well worth it," Eubank said.
The Mo Department of Insurance offers more questions you should consider before buying an earthquake policy.
But in the wake of Tuesday's quake and recent storms that hit Joplin and Sedalia, Case says these disasters should remind everyone how important insurance coverage really is.
" Homeowners need to use this as an opportunity to evaluate their coverage, be conscience of whether or not they have coverage, the type of coverage they have, and maybe more importantly the type of coverage they don't have," Case said.
Tell us what you think. Do you think it's really necessary to have earthquake insurance in Mid-Misssouri?
The recent earthquake that shook Missouri Tuesday has many people wondering if they need to get earthquake insurance.
Most homeowners insurance policies don't cover earthquake damage. So if you want earthquake insurance be sure to ask about it.
But do you think you need it living here in Missouri?
Tonight KRCG's Facebook crew talks with insurance companies to find out if they think Missourians need earthquake insurance.