September 17, 2021

FEMA Causes Flood Insurance Confusion

“Once again the Federal Emergency Management Agency has come under fire for its actions during a state of emergency. Residents along the Missouri river whose homes are being threatened by the rising waters are receiving contradicting information from FEMA and insurance companies. According to local officials FEMA has recommended home owners purchase flood insurance that will not necessarily cover damage caused by the Missouri flood, and are pushing agents to sell that type of insurance policy despite the uncertainty surrounding it.

FEMA Causes Flood Insurance Confusion

There are many people who found themselves surrounded by water without insurance because they live in areas that are characteristically dry. Officials are stressing the importance of insurance to those who are still downstream of the flood but citizens are reluctant to invest in insurance without a guarantee that their property will be fully insured. Mr. Roger Bruning, who purchased insurance in the beginning of June, was under the impression that his new acquired policy for his home in Orrick, Missouri, would pay for all damages. His insurance agent, Richard Wharton of Excelsior Springs, Missouri, assured him that the policy would be in effect if a flood hit but less than a week later the agent called back to say it would not.

The reason for this backtracking was FEMA declaring June 1 as the first day of the flooding. The current waiting period for policies to go into affect is thirty days, that meant May 2nd was the cut off date leaving numerous new policy holders out in the cold. Home owners are seeking help for an impossible situation, living in areas where flood insurance is not needed on normal occasions should they still be subject to the thirty day wait period?

Insurance agents are desperate for answers for their clients but are quick to point out that they were not to blame for giving out misleading information. The blame is placed on FEMA’s shoulders for not giving out the proper information in a timely manner. FEMA has not offered many answers. Although they continue to stress the importance of being prepared and encourage all home owners on the river to commit to long term flood coverage.”

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