Restrictions increase for earthquake coverage for St. Louis homeowners

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by Ray Preston / News 4 and Adam McDonald, KMOV.com staff

KMOV.com

Posted on May 5, 2014 at 3:21 PM

Updated Monday, May 5 at 4:45 PM

(KMOV) – The St. Louis area is considered one of the more hazardous areas of the state when it comes to earthquakes and many companies have starting offering fewer coverage and increasing restrictions for underwriting.

“That’s way back on my list of things to be worried about,” said Jim Miller, a taxidermist in St. Louis. “I may be struck by lightning, but I don’t have lightning insurance.”

Earthquakes are devastating in other parts of the world, but in the Midwest, there hasn’t been serious earthquake activity in hundreds of years and because of that, there has been a decline in coverage for the past several years.

“I think that’s something that homeowners should be concerned about,” said Jeff Buchholz, an insurance agency owner. “The deductibles have gone from about 2% to 15% for most people in this area.”

According to Buchholz, place like the Bootheel areas have increased deductibles up to 25%. The state says the number of insurance carries requiring the 25% deductible has more than doubled since 2008.

“The reason it’s excluded in your basic homeowner’s police is because if everybody had it and we had the big event, insurance companies could not handle it,” Buchholz said. “That’s the reason war is excluded, civil insurrection, and earthquake.” 

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