dcsimg

Home Insurance Quotes

Find Affordable Home Insurance Now

Yes No

Companies still selling quake coverage in the New Madrid Zone

Despite the May 2003 earthquake centered in Blytheville, Ark., area residents still have availability of earthquake insurance in the region. With another earthquake impacting the New Madrid fault zone on February 10, 2005, there could be less availability of earthquake insurance for the region.

A small earthquake centered in northeastern Arkansas rattled parts of several states but caused no major damage.

Shaking was felt as far away as Memphis, Tenn., and in Mississippi casinos. Window blinds and doors shook and swayed, pictures fell from the walls and telephone service was briefly interrupted in one small town in Arkansas.

The quake hit at 8:05 a.m. about four miles east of Caraway. Over the course of the day, the U.S. Geological Survey gave varying magnitudes for the quake — from 3.9 to 4.2. The quake was centered in the New Madrid seismic zone, which covers portions of Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. One of the largest earthquakes ever to strike in North America, estimated at magnitude 7.5, was centered at New Madrid, Mo., during a series of temblors in the winter of 1811-1812.

In the late 1990's despite no earthquake events, "Prices did go up for a lot of companies and deductibles have changed," noted Steve Deere of Allstate Insurance. "Deductibles used to be about 2 percent and now theyre anywhere between 10 and 15 percent."

Despite the increased rates and deductibles by the state over 2002, Deere admitted less than 10 percent of property owners and renters actually refuse the additional earthquake coverage offered with homeowner's and renter's policies. Older homeowners may choose not to carry earthquake insurance, but theyre in the minority, he added.

While Cravens Insurance Agency owner Jim Cravens said there hasn't been an influx of people wanting earthquake insurance since recent earthquakes, ("You're about 12 years late," he said) there hasnt been a decline either.

"There are some companies who don't offer earthquake insurance. Some stopped back in 1990 after the prediction for the big New Madrid Fault earthquake never happened," Cravens explained.

Earthquake coverage varies a great deal in type and cost, explained Sharon Bryant, an agent for State Farm Insurance. State Farm does earthquake endorsements on any home, and with commercial property, seismic guidelines by code are applied. Things like building structure — if it's frame or masonry — also make a difference, she added.

According to Federal Emergency Management Agency, the New Madrid Fault is the most seismically active region in the United States east of the Rockies. Since 1974, seismic detection instruments in the New Madrid Fault have recorded over 4,000 earthquakes.

Farmers Insurance has never paid an earthquake claim anywhere in the New Madrid area. State Farm has not paid a claim in the last five years.

In Missouri, according to an analysis by the state department of insurance, 59 percent of homeowners in areas near the New Madrid fault and 42 percent statewide bought quake coverage in 2002. The high percentage may be explained by the fact that coverage in the state is relatively inexpensive (38 cents per $1,000 of coverage statewide and 76 cents per $1,000 in high-risk areas). Recent research puts the location of the Midwestern earthquake about 130 miles from St. Louis, closer than originally thought. Growing amounts of business came from other states as well including New York, Texas, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

New Madrid Fault region known for major 1812 earthquake

The New Madrid Fault zone lies within the central Mississippi valley extending from northeastern Arkansas through southeastern Missouri, western Tennessee, Kentucky and southern Illinois. The last major earthquake, magnitude 8, occurred there in 1812. But scientists warn that this was not a freak occurrence. Earthquakes in Central and Eastern United States affect much larger areas than earthquakes of similar magnitude in the West. For example, the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 was felt 350 miles away, whereas the New Madrid earthquake of December 1811 rang church bells in Boston, Massachusetts, 1,000 miles away.

Companies writing quake

coverage in Arkansas

Companies writing quake

coverage in Mississippi

Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Co.
State Farm
State Farm
Southern Farm Bureau Casualty
Houston Casualty Group
US Fidelity & Guaranty Group
Allstate Insurance Group
Nationwide
St. Paul Insurance
W. R. Berkley
Nationwide
Allstate
Shelter Insurance Co.
Lumbermans Mutual Casualty Group
Farmers Insurance Group
State Auto Mutual Group
State Auto Mutual Group
Zurich Amerian Insurance Group
USAA Group
Travelers

Companies writing quake

coverage in Illinois

Companies writing quake

coverage in Missouri

State Farm
State Farm
St. Paul Insurance
Farmers Insurance
Farmers Insurance
American Family Insurance Group
Allianz Insurance Group
Travelers
Allstate Insurance Group
Allianz Insurance Group
Houston Casualty Group
SAFECO Insurance Group
Zurich American Insurance Group
Shelter Insurance Co.
Hartford Fire & Casualty Group
Chubb & Son
Netherlands Insurance Co.
St. Paul Co.
Markel Corporation Group
Allstate

Companies writing quake

coverage in Indiana

Companies writing quake

coverage in Tennessee

State Farm
State Farm
Netherlands Insurance Co.
Allstate
Allstate Insurance Group
CNA Insurance Group
Farmers Insurance Group
Nationwide
Westfield Co.
Travelers
Auto-owners Group
USAA Group
Zurich American Insurance Group
Grange Mutual Casualty
Commercial Union Insurance Co.
St. Paul Co.
American Family Insurance Group
State Auto Mutual Group
Prudential
SAFECO Insurance Group
Companies writing quake coverage in Kentucky
State Farm
State Auto Mutual Group
Allstate Insurance Group
CNA Insurance Group
Ohio Casualty Group
Grange Mutual Casualty
Netherlands Insurance Co.
Nationwide
Westfield Co
Travelers

Source: Insurance Information Institute

Ready to get a quote?

Get quick and easy home insurance quotes


Yes No

Insure.com Redesign Survey