cost benefits

Communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) must ensure all new residential buildings, and those that have been substantially damaged or substantially improved are elevated to or above the base flood elevation (BFE). The base flood is the flood that has a 1% chance of occurring or being exceeded in any given year. Many communities concluded the BFE is not a sufficient level of protection, saying:

  • Floods higher than the base flood can and do occur.
  • Most flood studies do not account for debris or obstructions during the base flood, thereby underestimating the BFE.
  • NFIP studies do not account for the impacts of future development or sea level rise. Over time, the regulatory standard does not keep up with increases in flood elevations.
  • In non-coastal areas, the protection level is measured at the top of the lowest floor, leaving the flooring, subfloor and floor joists exposed to the base flood.
To offset these shortcomings of building only to the BFE, many communities requires additional elevation above the BFE. Floodplain managers call this freeboard. To learn more about the costs and benefits of building higher, view or download the Costs and Benefits of Building Higher Brochure.


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Quick Guide for Floodplain Management new

Flooding is generally the most common and costliest type of disaster Missouri experiences, but standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover flooding, so it’s important to have protection from damage associated with flooding. 

SEMA’s Floodplain Management Section administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for the state of Missouri.  NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters and business owners if their community participates in the program, providing more than $4 billion in flood insurance coverage for Missouri homes and business annually. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements.

The National Flood Insurance Program was created by Congress in 1968 to provide a means for property owners to protect themselves financially from flood events. The program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements.

Missouri communities that have recently enrolled in the NFIP

  • Cuba
  • River Bend
  • Diamond
  • Lanagan
  • Linneus
  • Bethel
  • Hawk Point
  • Koshhonong

How NFIP Insurance Policies Helped Missouri Homeowners in Historic 2017 Flooding

  • More than $64 million was paid to policyholders, with the paid out claims averaging more than $63,500.00 per policy.
  • $19 million was paid to policyholders before the federal disaster was declared (Flood insurance pays even when there is no disaster declaration.)
  • 26 percent of NFIP claims filed were NOT in a Special Flood Hazard Area.

What you should know about flood insurance

Flooded Homes
  • Homeowners are 85 percent more likely to use a flood insurance policy during the span of a 30-year mortgage rather than a homeowner’s policy.
  • More than 20 percent of NFIP claims are submitted by people who own property outside of high-risk areas.
  • If you live in an area with a high risk of flooding, you have a 25 percent chance of your home being flooded over a 30-year mortgage. In moderate- to low-risk zones, the chance of flooding is lower but still present.
    Source: National Flood Insurance Program figures for U.S.