HomeHome InsuranceMissouri DCI Highlights Cost, Lack of Earthquake Coverage in High-Risk Areas

Missouri DCI Highlights Cost, Lack of Earthquake Coverage in High-Risk Areas

The Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance (DCI) issued an Earthquake Survey in December 2023 that shows a lack of understanding about risk and insurance coverage is a problem, while the cost and lack of available earthquake insurance coverage in high-risk areas of the state continues to be the primary issue.

The Earthquake Insurance Market Report provides annual insight into the status of earthquake insurance coverage in Missouri. The DCI continues to work on educating Missourians about earthquake risk and their insurance coverage options in preparation for recovery following a large-scale New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) earthquake.

Survey data showed that homes in the high earthquake risk area of the NMSZ in the southeastern part of Missouri have significantly higher costs and a reduced number of insurance options than the rest of the state:

  • For a $200,000 ranch style, 2,500-square-foot home with a composite shingle roof, the average premium for Caruthersville is substantially greater than the rest of the state, with an average premium of $2,134 vs. St. Louis at $398 and Kansas City at $206.
  • In 2024, the average premium for a $200,000 ranch style, 2,500-square-foot home with a composite shingle roof in Caruthersville rose nearly 7% compared with 2023.
  • There were fewer options for Caruthersville, as companies offering insurance for new customers decreased by nearly 20% since 2022.
  • The number of companies writing coverage for masonry homes remains low, with only 45% of carriers covering it. Average premiums ($200,000 ranch style, 2,500 square foot home with a composite shingle roof) for masonry and masonry veneer homes are nearly 45% higher in Caruthersville than frame-only homes.

The New Madrid Seismic Zone is the one of the most active seismic areas in the U.S. averaging 200 earthquakes per year.

Earthquake uptake in Missouri has been dropping for some time. An Earthquake Insurance Market Report from the DCI in 2021 showed coverage in the six-county New Madrid region of the state, the percentage of residences with earthquake coverage declined by 47% between 2000 and 2020, from 60.2% to 12.7%.

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