June 17, 2015

Department of Insurance encourages Missourians to review homeowners policies as heavy rains forecasted

Most homeowners policies do not cover flooding

Jefferson City, Mo. - As storms and heavy rains continue to impact parts of Missouri, the Missouri Department of Insurance wants to remind homeowners to review their insurance policies now to ensure they are adequately covered if they have to file a claim. Most homeowners policies do not offer coverage for flood damage.

"Knowing what your coverage is before you have to file a claim is essential," said Department of Insurance Director John M. Huff.  "Don't wait for your insurer to tell you during the claims process that you were underinsured or you didn't have the right coverage to cover your loss. By then, it's too late. Now's the time to act to protect your home and your assets."

Generally, homeowners insurance does not offer protection against flood losses. You should check your policy under exclusions. It will probably be listed under "water damage." The department has homeowners policies from the top 20 insurance carriers available on its website for consumers to review.

Flood insurance is available through the federal government's National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It may be purchased through licensed property and casualty insurance agents or through many private insurance companies. Typically, there's a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before a policy goes into effect. There are eligibility restrictions to qualify for National Flood Insurance. Please contact the NFIP with eligibility questions at 800-427-4661 or visit the NFIP's website.