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Earthquakes in the breadbasket? Understand the risk

You probably know the Midwest as the breadbasket of the country, but do you know about its earthquake history? Should that concern you? If you live in the Midwest or the East, scientists and history suggest it should.

THE PAST

In the early 1800s, three of the most powerful earthquakes in U.S. history hit New Madrid, Missouri. The New Madrid fault area includes northeast Arkansas, southeast Missouri, western Tennessee, western Kentucky and southern Illinois. With the epicenter in Missouri, damage was reported as far away as South Carolina and Massachusetts.

THE PRESENT

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the New Madrid area continues to produce small to moderate earthquakes and is the most seismically active area of the United States east of the Rockies. Based on the history of past earthquakes, USGS estimates a 25-40 percent chance of a magnitude 6 or larger earthquake in the New Madrid area within the next 50 years.

YOUR AGENT CAN HELP

Most homeowner policies exclude earthquake coverage. So protect yourself now and speak with your agent about whether your homeowner policy automatically provides earthquake coverage for your home and your personal belongings. If not, ask whether you can purchase earthquake coverage, and what type of deductible may apply.

The time to know what your insurance provides for damages caused by earthquakes is before one hits.

Contact your local independent insurance agent for details.

RELATED INFORMATION

For information about preparing for an earthquake, visit Ready.gov’s earthquake page.

For information about what to do after an earthquake, visit the Central United States Earthquake Consortium Page.

Courtesy of The Cincinnati Insurance Company
blog.cinfin.com