February 26, 2024

Review your flood insurance coverage or consider a new policy

Prepare now for potential future flooding

Jefferson City, Mo – 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. 

Although more than half of Missouri is currently experiencing drought, flooding can still pose a serious threat with enough rainfall. Rainwater can fail to efficiently infiltrate hard grounds in areas that have experienced abnormally dry conditions, increasing the risk of localized flash flooding. 

“Residents who are not close to a body of water may assume they do not need flood coverage,” said Chlora Lindley-Myers, Director of the Missouri Department of Commerce and Insurance. “The reality is that anywhere it rains, it can flood – regardless of the time of year. To protect your possessions and livelihood, it is important to have a flood insurance policy in place.”

It is important to note that 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 can take 30 days to go into effect.

“Flooding is generally the most common and costliest type of disaster Missouri experiences,” SEMA Director Jim Remillard said. “We encourage Missourians to take time to learn about the risks associated with flooding and prepare now to protect themselves. This includes ensuring your home and property are covered through insurance should they be damaged in a flood.”

SEMA’s Floodplain Management Section administers FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for the state of Missouri, which is a great way to protect your home, business, or personal property from the damages of flooding. According to the NFIP, just ONE inch of water can cause $30,000 in damage to an average home.

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 generally takes 30 days for the coverage to go into effect.

Individuals and business owners are encouraged to review 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 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.