Earthquake insurance costs rising for homeowners near New Madrid Fault Line

Earthquake insurance costs rising for homeowners near New Madrid Fault Line
Less than 14% of homeowners in the most at-risk counties pay for earthquake insurance.

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI (KFVS) - The recent California earthquakes might have shaken up some fear for you, especially if you live near the New Madrid Fault Line.

According to a July 2019 report from the Missouri Department of Insurance, less than 14 percent of homeowners pay for earthquake insurance in what’s considered the state’s most at-risk counties. Those counties are Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Scott and Stoddard.

“I’ve got two or three properties there in Sikeston, and it makes you feel pretty rough knowing that you can be wiped out totally,” said Roger Burns.

But even with those fears, he doesn’t have earthquake insurance.

“They said I wouldn’t want it because the price went up so much,” said Burns.

“The cost the further south you get is the problem probably. The rates are really expensive the further south you go,” said Chris Gross with Capital Insurance.

He said it depends on how close the property is to the Seismic Zone, along with the building’s value, age and construction.

“They don’t want to roll the dice. I mean it does cost several dollars a year to add it to your policy. But they want to feel comfortable if something does happen that they have it in place,” said Gross.

Gross said some companies don’t even offer earthquake insurance anymore. Something Burns dealt with himself.

“They’re backing out. They’re afraid they’ll lose millions of dollars. Actually it would be astronomical,” said Burns.

He worries about the human cost if a devastating quake hits near the Heartland.

“And you can’t put a figure on life. What’re you gonna do about life,” said Burns.

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