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The Missouri Department of Insurance (“DOI”) has issued a new “Earthquake Insurance Market Report” that highlights some sobering facts about Missouri’s insurance market’s readiness to recover following a high magnitude quake in the New Madrid fault area, which runs through the Southeast Quadrant of the state, extending from the bootheel northwards to St. Louis and beyond.

In a statement, the DOI explained that the New Madrid area of Missouri experienced a series of powerful earthquakes during the winter of 1811-1812, with experts estimating the primary quakes ranging in magnitude from 7.0 to 7.5. Were an earthquake of similar magnitude to occur today along the New Madrid fault, losses would be staggering. The risk modeling firm AIR Worldwide has estimated that a New Madrid recurrence would produce insured losses of $120 billion (2011 dollars). Such losses would only be rivaled by a repeat of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, with estimated losses of $93 billion, according to the DOI.

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Steven A. Meyerowitz

Steven A. Meyerowitz, a Harvard Law School graduate, is the founder and president of Meyerowitz Communications Inc., a law firm marketing communications consulting company. He may be contacted at [email protected]

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