JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- An often overlooked clause in National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies has helped many homeowners in Missouri to finance required improvements that saved them from significant damage in the next event.
And, many owners of homes flooded this year are planning to file claims under the clause-termed Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC)-to finance improvements that may save them from future damage.
In a nutshell, an approved application for ICC filed with an NFIP policy owner's insurance agent means up to $30,000 in a homeowner's pocket to pay for bringing a substantially flood-damaged home up to flood plain ordinance standards after a flooding event.
NFIP statistics show 69 closed ICC claims and a total payout of $1,158,339 in Missouri from the time the program began in 1996 until the end of July this year. The list shows claimants from throughout the state, including Carroll and Holt Counties in the northwest, Stone County in the southwest, Cape Girardeau County in the southeast, Marion and Lincoln counties in the northeast, and Maries County in the middle, among others.
A major player was Lincoln County, which flooded again this year, destroying four homes and causing major damage to 161 others, according to Kelly Hardcastle, emergency manager and executive director of Lincoln County Services. He said 19 homes, including primary and secondary residences, suffered heavy damage in 2001 and were rebuilt with funds from ICC.
"None of those had damage this year," he said. The high percentage of flood insurance policies and the obvious benefit of ICC coverage resulted in 45 ICC applications filed this year with insurance agents, who are expecting an equal number still to come in, Hardcastle said.
Dale S. Schmutzler, floodplain management officer for the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency, keeps officials up to date on programs to help disaster-impacted households. Many homes in Lincoln County are insured under NFIP and property owners and agents are knowledgeable about the insurance. He said a number of residential elevations are underway in Pacific since the spring flooding. There, ICC is being used in the rebuilding of permanent residences.
For detailed information on flood insurance, consult? www.floodsmart.gov . Click on the red box at the left? of the screen to find an agent in your area and calculate your flood risk.
FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.