Earthquake insurance buying frenzy could be on in Kansas, agents say

Earthquake insurance buying frenzy could be on in Kansas, agents say

Insurance News

By Lyle Adriano

Thanks the a recent surge in earthquake activity in and around Kansas, insurance agents in the area say that more people are asking about coverage for tremor-induced damage.

In Kansas, the rates for homeowners looking to purchase earthquake policies are around $50 a year for a property worth $100,000, with a deductible of between 2-10%.

Although earthquake insurance is not a standard part of regular homeowner insurance, consumers can purchase it through a separate policy from insurers.
With the upsurge in frequency of quakes, it is unclear whether earthquake insurance rates in Kansas will rise. Individual costs for policies could vary, though, depending on factors such as the age of the property, its construction type, location and value.

Many earthquake policies cover only structural and foundation damage, said Chapple Insurance Group owner Chock Chapple. The policies, however, typically do not cover personal belongings and effects damaged by tremors.

Chapple noted that because there has not been much earthquake damage caused so far and insurance companies have yet to pay for heavier losses, the rates in the region have remained comparatively low.

Based on data gathered by the Insurance Information Institute, roughly 7% of homeowners in the Midwest have earthquake insurance.

The number of homeowners in Kansas with earthquake insurance, however, is indeterminable. The Kansas Insurance Department does not have the means to track such figures, said communications director Bob Hanson.

Some lending institutions in the state are requiring businesses to secure earthquake insurance before any commercial lending can be transacted. Chapple believes that this could be a growing trend as the tremors continue.

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