Understanding the importance of flood insurance for Missourians

Flooding Graphic
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With spring approaching, the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance (DCI) and the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) remind Missourians to consider purchasing flood insurance. Despite over half of Missouri currently experiencing drought conditions, flooding can still pose a significant threat with sufficient rainfall. In areas that have faced abnormally dry conditions, rainwater may not infiltrate the ground efficiently, increasing the risk of localized flash flooding.

Chlora Lindley-Myers, Director of the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance, stated, “Residents who are not near a body of water may assume they do not need flood coverage. However, anywhere it can rain, it can flood – regardless of the season. To protect your possessions and livelihood, having a flood insurance policy in place is crucial.”

It is essential to recognize that a standard homeowner or renter’s policy typically does not cover flood damage. Missourians are encouraged to review their current flood insurance coverage or consider purchasing a policy if they do not have one. Note that a new policy can take up to 30 days to become effective.

SEMA Director Jim Remillard commented, “Flooding is often the most common and costly disaster in Missouri. We urge Missourians to educate themselves about flood risks and prepare now to safeguard their homes and properties with insurance.”

The SEMA Floodplain Management Section oversees the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in Missouri, offering protection for homes, businesses, and personal property against flood damage. The NFIP reveals that just one inch of water can cause up to $30,000 in damage to an average home.

Flood Insurance Facts:

  • Flood insurance can cover up to $250,000 for house damage and up to $100,000 for contents.
  • Business owners can obtain coverage up to $500,000 for structures and contents each.
  • Flood insurance compensates for covered flood damage, irrespective of a federal disaster declaration.
  • The average annual cost of an NFIP policy for homeowners is approximately $950.
  • Any community participating in the NFIP allows its residents to buy flood insurance, regardless of the location.
  • Almost 40% of flood insurance claims are from areas not considered high-risk for flooding.
  • Coverage generally starts 30 days after purchasing a policy.

Individuals and business owners should review and update their emergency plans as needed to ensure adequate preparation. Key considerations include verifying the adequacy of your coverage and understanding the distinctions between structure and content policies. Renters are also advised to inquire about flood insurance for their personal property.

For insurance inquiries, Missouri consumers can contact the DCI Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390 or visit insurance.mo.gov/consumers. Further information about the NFIP is available at this link .

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