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Earthquake insurance rates up, enrollees down in Missouri

By AP/KWMU

Jefferson City, Mo. – The cost of earthquake insurance is going up in Missouri while the number of people buying it is going down.

Figures from the state Department of Insurance show less than 38% of home and farm insurance policies included earthquake coverage last year.

That's down more than five percentage points from 2001. During that time, the average cost of residential earthquake coverage has risen by more than 15%.

Gov. Matt Blunt on Wednesday appointed an earthquake insurance task force. It's supposed to look at the availability and affordability of earthquake insurance -- especially near the New Madrid fault in southeast Missouri.

The task force has a February 1st deadline to recommend ways to improve building safety standards and boost insurance coverage.

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