December 20, 2019
JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Now is a good time for Missourians to consider buying flood insurance. Many Missourians are still working to recover from the widespread flooding of 2019. In some areas of the state, dealing with flooding and its aftermath has been a constant since March. More than 1,750 claims have been filed by flood insurance policyholders in Missouri alone. FEMA, the National Weather Service, and other agencies are concerned that flooding may be a problem again next spring.
FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a great way to protect your home from flooding. Statewide, the NFIP has paid more than $68.7 million in flood insurance claims to Missouri policyholders for damage that began in March 2019.
Key facts you should know about flood insurance:
- Most home, business and rental insurance policies do not cover flood damage.
- Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States and often does not result in a federal disaster declaration where FEMA offers help.
- It takes 30 days for a flood insurance policy to take effect after you buy it.
- Almost 25 percent of flood insurance claims come from areas not considered at high risk for flooding.
- Flood insurance policyholders can get financial help to repair or replace property even if there is no federal disaster declaration. The average annual cost of an NFIP policy for homeowners is about $700.
- Renters can buy flood insurance for their personal property.
- As little as one inch of water can cause $25,000 in damage to a home.
Key facts you should know about Missouri and flood insurance:
- In 2019, in eight counties not declared for the flooding disasters, FEMA’s flood insurance program paid $4.1 million in claims due to flooding.
- In five counties along the Missouri River (Atchison, Holt, Andrew, Buchanan, and Platte) with severe flooding this year, flood insurance has paid more than $16.4 million.
- Since the year 2000, NFIP has paid nearly half a billion dollars ($490,728,817) on claims submitted by flood insurance policy holders in Missouri.
- Despite these significant payments, the number of NFIP policies in Missouri has dropped 1.4 percent, from 20,327 to 20,041, since March 2018.
FEMA disaster assistance home repair grants are limited to primary residences and only to make them safe, sanitary, and functional, but FEMA’s flood insurance policies are much more expansive. For example: A single-family home can be insured up to a maximum of $250,000 and its contents up to $100,000. Renters can cover contents up to $100,000. Non-residential property owners can insure their building up to $500,000 and contents up to an additional $500,000. And, perhaps most important, payments are based on flood damage to the residence, not contingent on a federal disaster declaration.
To find an insurance agent who sells flood insurance or to learn more about NFIP, call 800-427-4661 or check online.
Follow recovery updates in Missouri on Twitter @MOSEMA and @FEMARegion7 .