Ward said he had flood insurance for a while, but, over the years, the price tag was high and water had never reached his house, so he canceled it.
“For the last year, I was paying $100 a month,” he said.
It’s not yet known how costly Tuesday’s historic flood will be for the St. Louis region. Insurance agents across the metro area say they’re still fielding calls from customers about damage and expect more.
Agents warn, however, that flood damage is not covered under a typical homeowner’s insurance policy and many homeowners won’t have flood insurance. That means repairs are expected to come out of folks’ own pockets.
People are also reading…
Cardinals notebook: Surging Paul DeJong slugs way into deadline decisions
BenFred: Tired Cardinals talking points won’t sell with another ho-hum trade deadline
Cardinals notebook: As trade pursuits continue, were talks with Nats caught on camera?
Cardinals can strike at the deadline to upgrade starting rotation, not patch it
Cardinals notebook: John Mozeliak talks trade options to help now, and beyond
CBC high school student struck and killed on street near Ted Drewes in St. Louis
Cardinals notebook: Driven to join team in Toronto, Johan Oviedo detours to Miami for passport
BenFred: Side effect of Juan Soto Madness appears to be undervaluing Dylan Carlson
Aggressive Padres dominate deadline, outbid suitors, including Cardinals, for Juan Soto
Cardinals swing rare in-division deal, set to land lefty Jose Quintana from Pittsburgh
Adam Wainwright saw chance for ‘great pitcher’ to steady Cardinals. He knew just the guy.
St. Louis nursing school, open 124 years, closes due to finances, enrollment
10 rescue puppies in St. Peters die in flooding; St. Louis Zoo building roof collapses
Cardinals trade Edmundo Sosa to Phillies, recall Paul DeJong from the minors
Cardinals notebook: DeJong joins team in D.C., as does front office seeking an impact trade
Even if a property owner has flood insurance, the policy may only cover the building and not personal belongings. Others may not cover things like a damaged fence. And flood insurance may not cover sewer backups or sump pump failures, said Tracie Bibb, an agent with Allstate Insurance.
Insurance companies rely on an adjuster’s physical inspection to determine whether a structure was damaged by water that overflowed from a sewer, drain or sump, or flood water from rivers or lakes that overflow their banks or oversaturated ground.
Farmers Insurance agent Paul Hauser said he heard from many customers on Wednesday who had water in their basements and others also experienced sump pump failure. But one client from University City did have flood damage.
“She has flood insurance, so she’s gonna get some financial assistance,” Hauser said.
Flood insurance can be pricey. Policies can range from $600 a year to $1,500-$2,000 if the property is in a special designated area, he said.
“It’s definitely an extra expense,” Hauser said. Policies purchased now would not cover damage from previous flooding.
Property owners in high-risk flood areas with federally-backed mortgages are required to have flood insurance — as are those who received federal disaster aid, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“Everyone doesn’t have to have that extra coverage and that’s unfortunate,” said Crystal Swanigan, claims manager for St. Louis-based Powers Insurance, which received around 80 claims related to the flood on Tuesday. Calls are still coming in, she said.
It’s not clear how many Americans have flood insurance. The National Flood Insurance Policy, which FEMA manages, has issued more than five million policies and collects about $4.6 billion in annual revenue from policyholders’ premiums, fees and surcharges. It provides over $1.3 trillion in coverage.
Katie Reuther said she didn’t know how she’d cover the cost of new electrical panels and other damage to the basement of her boutique shop 301 Whistle Stop on St. Peters’ Main Street.
She didn’t buy flood insurance on the building because it wasn’t in a floodplain or a flood risk, she said.
“It wasn’t recommended,” she said.
Reporter Katie Kull contributed to this story.
Photos: Flash flooding soaks residents twice in a week as cleanup begins
Get the latest local business news delivered FREE to your inbox weekly.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.