February 28, 2023

Prepare now for potential flooding with insurance coverage

Review your flood coverage or consider a new policy

Jefferson City, Mo – With spring approaching, the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance (DCI) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourage Missourians to consider purchasing flood insurance. 

According to the U.S. National Weather Service, the main drivers of flood risk are spring snowmelt due to warmer temperatures and resulting runoff, which impacts the Missouri and Mississippi river systems. If this snowmelt is combined with heavy rainfall, the flooding risk along these rivers systems is amplified. 

“Flooding is often associated with the spring season, and residents who are not close to a body of water may assume they do not need coverage,” said Chlora Lindley-Myers, Director of DCI and 2023 President of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). “The reality is that anywhere it rains, it can flood – regardless of the time of year. Before the rivers rise, have your flood insurance policy in place to protect your possessions and livelihood.”

It is important to note a standard homeowner or renters’ policy typically does not cover flooding damage. Missourians should review their current flood insurance coverage or consider purchasing a flood insurance policy if they don’t have one. A new policy takes 30 days to go into effect.

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a great way to protect your home, business, or personal property. According to the NFIP, just six inches of water can cause $52,000 in damage to an average home.

Although most of Missouri experienced drought conditions last year, several areas of the state, including St. Louis, were significantly impacted by severe flooding events, resulting in more than $47 million statewide in flood insurance claims by Missouri policyholders.

Flood insurance facts to know:

  • Flood insurance can pay up to $250,000 for damage to your house and up to $100,000 for contents.
  • Business owners can purchase coverage up to $500,000 for structures and up to $500,000 for contents.
  • Flood insurance pays for covered flood damage – regardless of whether there is a federal disaster declaration. According to FEMA, the average annual cost of an NFIP policy for homeowners is about $950. 
  • Anyone can buy flood insurance if your community participates in NFIP, regardless of your home or business location.
  • Almost 40 percent of flood insurance claims come from areas not considered high-risk for flooding.
  • Remember, once you purchase a policy, it takes 30 days for the coverage to go into effect.

Individuals and business owners are encouraged to look over their emergency plans and update them as necessary to ensure they are sufficiently prepared. Ask these crucial questions:

If you already have a policy – is your coverage amount adequate? 

  • Do you have BOTH structure and content policies? These are separate coverage policies and amounts.
  • Do you rent? You can buy coverage for your personal property. Ask your insurance agent about renter’s flood insurance. 

For any insurance questions, Missouri consumers can call DCI’s Insurance Consumer Hotline at 800-726-7390, or visit insurance.mo.gov/consumers. Learn more about NFIP at www.floodsmart.gov/why/why-buy-flood-insurance

DCI is charged with protecting Missouri consumers through oversight of the insurance industry, banks, credit unions, utilities and various professional licensees operating in the state. For more information about the department, please visit our website at dci.mo.gov.