FEMA reminds those in flood-prone areas to check their insurance plans

Published: Jan. 30, 2020 at 8:09 PM CST
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Flooding may not be on your mind on Jan. 30, but the federal government wants you to change that mindset.

FEMA is warning people in flood-prone areas to review their insurance plans. Last year FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program paid out more than $70 million dollars in insurance claims across the state of Missouri.

According to FEMA, 25 percent of insurance claims come from areas not considered high risk for flooding.

Flooding is nothing new to people like Maureen Waldron, who lives along the Finley River in Ozark.

"The first flood was really bad," says Waldron. "We had birdhouses on the poll… it flooded all the way up there."

Signs of flood damage are easy to spot here: Sand washed up in fields, a mangled truck and washed away boats.

Some homes almost resemble islands when the water rises.

"We haven't had it bad this year though, but we don't know what's going to come."

FEMA and insurance agents remind people to review their insurance plans because, when it comes to your personal homeowner's policy, you may not be covered.

"Flood insurance is a completely separate policy," says Bryant Young, an agent from Insurers of the Ozarks.

Your plan may cover sewer backups, but you shouldn't assume flooding is covered, even if you don't live in a place that floods often.

"We got a lot of rivers and lot of lakes," says Young. "When we have heavy rains everything flows through the Ozarks."

Spring is less than fifty days away, and these new insurance policies may take a month to go into effect, which could mean paying more.

"Depending on where you live, it can be as expensive as a regular homeowners policy," says Young.

If you live on a flood plain, Young says the cost may be worth it.

"That's the whole name of the game with insurance," says Young. "That you're basically saying, 'I hope this doesn't happen,' but here is me purchasing a policy to make sure that if it does happen, I have some coverage."