JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – According to the National Weather Service, there is the potential for Missouri to experience serious flooding again in only a few weeks. Last year’s damage repairs are ongoing, while emergency managers, meteorologists, engineers, farmers, and residents monitor weather forecasts, anticipating another spring flood season.
FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a great way to protect your home, business, or personal property. According to NFIP, just six inches of water can cause $52,000 in damage to your home. Statewide, NFIP paid more than $70 million in flood insurance claims to Missouri policyholders for damage in 2019.
After 2019’s historic flooding, one action residents and business owners should take immediately is to review their current flood insurance coverage or consider purchasing a flood insurance policy if they don’t have one. Did you know most homeowner and business multi-peril policies do NOT cover flood damage? A new policy takes 30 days to go into effect.
Other key facts you should 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. The average annual cost of an NFIP policy for homeowners is about $700.
- Anyone can buy flood insurance if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), no matter where your home or business is located. Check with your local officials to find out if your community participates.
- Almost 25 percent of flood insurance claims come from areas not considered at high risk for flooding.
Remember, once you purchase a policy, it takes 30 days for the coverage to go into effect. Anywhere it rains, it can flood. Before the rivers rise, have your policy in place.
Individuals and business owners are encouraged to look over their own emergency plans and update 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 contents policies? These are separate coverage policies and amounts. Ask your insurance agent.
- Do you rent? You can buy coverage for your personal property. Ask your agent about renter’s flood insurance.
Current soil saturation is above average for this time of year. Snowmelt runoff from the Rocky Mountains and ice jams on northern rivers all contribute to the amount and force of water flowing through the Missouri and Mississippi river systems. After two consecutive years of heavy moisture, flooding is a significant part of the 2020 spring outlook. Consider the flood risk and act now to protect yourself, your family, your business or your property.
Call your insurance agent to review your current policy or ask about a new policy for flooding. You can also contact the NFIP Help Center at 800-427-4661, ext. 4, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Central Time).
For more information go to FloodSmart.gov (https://www.floodsmart.gov/why/why-buy-flood-insurance).