Missouri Home Insurance
Some of the people living in the Show Me State identify as southern while others consider themselves part of the midwest. The weather has more in common with the hot and humid south, while the economy bears more of a resemblance to Midwestern states, both in size and sectors. What Missouri has in common with both regions of the U.S. is an affordable cost of living, and that extends into housing prices and home insurance rates for both property owners and renters.
Above the Averages
About 70 percent of Missouri real estate is owner occupied, which is higher than the national average. You could also describe the state's weather as above average in several respects. The state averages about 42 inches of precipitation a year, which is slightly more than the rest of the country.
The state is susceptible to tornadoes, floods and earthquakes, so it's a good idea to buy expanded insurance covering all three phenomena. Some parts of Missouri have reduced risks to these acts of nature, but as many as 25 percent of claims for damages from these phenomena come from outside of areas considered to have low to medium risk.
You can get a discount on your home insurance by demonstrating proof that your dwelling has safeguards against severe weather damage. You might actually be required to add more weather resistant features if your property lies in a high-risk area. Potential upgrades could include:
- Water resistant building materials
- Waterspouts along the roof and sides of the building
- Floor drains in the basement
- Plumbing that keeps sewer water from entering the building
- Elevation of the home
- A secure foundation built to withstand tornados and earthquakes
The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration has a program called Ready in 3, which will help you prepare your home and family in advance for weather-related disasters. The Missouri Earthquake Insurance Task Force offers similar resources for guidance on readiness for earthquakes. Both organizations advise homeowners, landlords and renters to:
- Create an emergency evacuation plan and rehearse it with family members and guests. Plan two ways to escape out of every room. Determine a meeting area outside, along with possible destinations to drive to if authorities order evacuations.
- Prepare an emergency kit that could include a flashlight with extra batteries, food supplies, several gallons of water, a can opener and blankets.
- Install and maintain smoke detectors in every room. Test them often and replace the batteries as soon as the detector warns that the battery is getting low.
- Also install and maintain carbon monoxide detectors on every level of the house. Test them regularly and replace the batteries as soon as they run low.
- Regularly check electric appliances and power cords to make sure they are operational. Also inspect chimneys, heaters, stoves and air conditioning units.
- Keep flammable items away from sources of heat.
In the unlikely event that you and an insurer have a disagreement that can't be resolved-one-on-one, you can seek help from the government. The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration doesn't make any guarantees about how much it can aid people who have disputes with companies, but the agency has helped policyholders negotiate an additional $8 million in settlements each year. Two out of every complaints filed with the government agency results in an increased settlement.
Most likely, your experience as an insurance customer will be pleasant and without conflict. Getting proper coverage of your dwelling and belongings will make you feel more secure in your home and give you peace of mind.