The Brown & Crouppen Legal Lens takes a closer look at everyday legal issues and gives you a better understanding of topics that may affect you.

ST. LOUIS – After the record rainfall and flooding left damage in the St. Louis area Tuesday, many are now cleaning up the mess. In this week’s Legal Lens, Andrea McNairy, the managing attorney for Brown & Crouppen explains the ins and outs of flood coverage. 

Is flood insurance required?

It’s not unless you live in a high-risk zone, but what people don’t realize or think about is flood insurance is not included in homeowners insurance,” said McNairy. “Flooding is generally the costliest type of disaster in Missouri. The standard homeowners’ coverage in Missouri and renters insurance do not cover it. If you are looking at buying it, you need to realize.. two different types of coverage. One would be structural and building.. any damage to the structure of a house.”

What do we really need to know about flood insurance?

“If you need flood insurance depends on if you live. If in a FEMA high-risk zone, it is required and required to be purchased through the national flood insurance program,” said McNairy. “The cost depends on where you live, what risk it is. You can go to the national flood insurance website to get more information and see what kind of risk you have on where you live. The other would be content coverage, which would include electronics and clothing, things like that. For your car, if you have liability only, generally speaking, there is no coverage for flooding, but if you have comprehensive coverage there may be some coverage if your vehicle floods, but you need to check the details of the policy to see if it does.”  

If you have insurance how do you make a claim?

“Call your agent or your insurance company asap, most policies have a time period to be accepted,” said McNairy.