State Warns Homeowner Policies Don't Cover Earthquakes

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JEFFERSON CITY - As national earthquake awareness kicks off this week, the Missouri Department of Insurance reminds homeowners Wednesday to get coverage in case of disaster. Standard homeowners and renters insurance policies normally exclude earthquake damage coverage. Homeowners needing coverage must buy an endorsement, or rider, which can cost from $10 to $40 more per month, depending on where one lives in Missouri.

Insurance Director John M. Huff says consumers need to buy extra insurance to be covered for earthquake damage. Huff says standard homeowners and renters insurance policies specifically exclude earthquake coverage.

"Missouri consumers should talk to their insurance agent to determine whether they need to buy earthquake insurance," said Huff. "That decision should be based on where they live, their financial situation, the value of their home and belongings, just to name a few factors."

Homeowner Raymond Handy said he hadn't thought about earthquake coverage, but he will now.

KOMU: "Do you know your home is not covered for earthquake damage under your homeowners policy?"

Handy: "No, but I guess I need to talk to my agent very soon," Handy said.

The department suggests renters also consult an insurance agent to cover their personal belongings because landlord's insurance only extends to the building itself.

The state offers an online earthquake resources page, which includes consumer tips and a chart showing who sells earthquake insurance to new customers in Missouri.