Flood Insurance Often Dropped by Homeowners
Floodwater likely caused tens of thousands of dollars in destruction to homes and businesses. But many don’t have flood insurance.
Debbie Love’s home looks like it was gutted for renovation. But it ‘ s down to the bare bones after floodwater flowed up to eight inches high there.
Love said, “So there was mud, water. Anything eight inches down was soaking wet.”
Some of her neighbors have flood insurance. Other ‘ s don ‘ t. Homeowner policies don ‘ t cover flood or earthquakes.
Debbie had paid for flood insurance for fifteen years. But let it lapse like many do.
State Farm Insurance Agent Eric Norris explained, “The bank requires it while you have a mortgage. As soon as the mortgage is gone, folks let their flood insurance lapse.”
We asked Debbie, ” Are you regretting that?
She answered, ” Pretty much.”
Norris said flood insurance is available through the federal National Flood Insurance Program. He said it ‘ s a myth that some homes aren ‘ t eligible.
“Everybody ‘ s eligible in a participating community which every community in Newton county other than Newtonia is a participating community in the National flood insurance program. So as long as your community participates, there is a flood policy for you. It could be high risk and very expensive or it could be low risk and very affordable like one hundred fifty dollars a year.”
An arm of the rain swollen hickory carried Kwik Mart ‘ s freezer about half mile downstream away from the store. While the owner, Steve Horine, is happy to have insurance, he says the deductibles are pretty pricey.
Horine said, ” It ‘ s five thousand on the contents and five thousand on the building. So two different deductibles.”
A shed containing the Kwik Marts supplies also floated away leaving a swath of Styrofoam cups on the creek banks. Water got inside his store and in the underground gas tanks which had to be emptied and refilled to the tune of seven thousand dollars.
While Horine hasn ‘ t totaled up damages, he knows it will be more than twenty-two thousand dollars. And even with ten grand in deductibles feels insurance is worth it.
Norris said everyone should at least get a quote.
Love calculates her losses at about ten thousand dollars.
FEMA adjusters will come to the area for those who do have insurance.
The average pay out on a flood policy claim is more than thirty-one thousand dollars.
Those needing help with cleanup or recovery can go to the Neosho Recovers website. A tool for use by those who need help, those who want to volunteer and those who want to donate. It has maps and info about recovery. People need to sign up on the website.