Earthquake Insurance Gap Grows Wider in Southeast Missouri

(Farmington) The number of Missourians living in the New Madrid earthquake zone that don’t have earthquake insurance coverage is getting larger.

A new report released this week shows 60-percent of people living in the zone last year had earthquake insurance.

That’s down by 49-percent since 2000.

At the same time, the cost of earthquake insurance has increased by 816-percent.

Jeff Briggs is Missouri’s earthquake program manager.

He says before Missouri became a state, major earthquakes erupted in southeast Missouri.

Briggs says those earthquakes in southeast Missouri were more powerful than any of the quakes that have been documented in the historical record for California and other areas on the west coast.

Another finding from the insurance report shows many homeowners in Missouri assume their regular homeowner policies cover earthquake damage when in reality they do not.

State officials say the New Madrid Earthquake Zone averages more than 200 small earthquakes a year and scientists say there’s a 25 to 40 percent chance of a major earthquake in southeast Missouri in the next 50 years.

Just over the weekend, two earthquakes were recorded here in the listening area.

A quake on Saturday, with a magnitude of 3.2 was centered in northern Carter County, close to where Carter, Reynolds and Shannon County all meet up.

Also, on Sunday, a smaller 2.2 rumbler was recorded just east of the Bonne Terre city limits in St. Francois County.