Missouri report warns of earthquake insurance collapse

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A new report says Missouri faces a possible earthquake insurance marketplace collapse and massive economic losses if a powerful quake hits the New Madrid fault line anytime soon.

Despite the risk, the report says earthquake insurance coverage dropped to fewer than 14% of homes in the New Madrid area in 2018, compared to 60% in 2000.

A series of powerful earthquakes occurred along the fault line beginning in 1811, including one with an estimated magnitude of 7.7 on a 12-point intensity scale.

Missouri’s insurance department report points to a recent risk assessment that predicted total economic losses of $300 billion if a similarly strong earthquake hits again. The U.S. Geological Survey predicts there’s a 7-10% chance that an earthquake of that intensity could happen again in the next 50 years.

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