Rumble gamble: library board cancels earthquake coverage

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June 2, 2003 // UPDATED 10:50 am - April 30, 2007
By: Scott Russell
Scott Russell

Financial tremors at the Minneapolis Public Library have led board members to look for every possible cut, and the latest is this: No earthquake coverage.

The Library Board\'s Finance Committee May 21 approved deleting earthquake coverage from its property insurance policy, saving $17,591. The full board votes Wednesday, June 4.

It might seem odd the Library Board had earthquake coverage to begin with. The option to opt out is a relatively new one. Until recently, flood and earthquake charges were not separated, wrote Michael J. Glapion, president of Insurance & Surety Specialists Inc., in a May 12 letter to the library.

The library administration had asked Glapion to review coverage for possible savings. He recommended dropping the earthquake coverage, which was double the $8,028 a year cost of $5 million in flood insurance.

Glapion noted that a major earthquake along the New Madrid, Mo. fault line would impact Minneapolis. The 1812 New Madrid earthquake - 8.8 on the Richter scale - remains the strongest in U.S. history, according to the U.S. Geological Services Web site. Magnitudes of 5.0 or greater occur about once per decade, can do significant damage and be felt in several states, according to Southwest Missouri State University researchers. Glapion noted that tremors have been felt as far north as Winona, Mn. - about 120 miles south of Minneapolis.