DES MOINES, Iowa – The Federal Emergency Management Agency is telling people now is a good time to purchase flood insurance.
Flood insurance is offered through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program.
There is a 30-day waiting period from the time you purchase the insurance for it to go in effect.
Iowa Insurance Division Commissioner Doug Ommen said, “Flood insurance is only currently available through the federal flood program. It’s important to talk to an agent to make sure that the coverage that you are looking for is found in your contract.”
Ommen said to purchase flood insurance you need to talk to either an agent or insurer that participates in NFIP. In addition, the property owner’s town or county also must have applied in the federal program to participate.
According to FEMA there are nearly 650 communities in Iowa that have applied to participate in NFIP, and more than 12,000 property owners who are using it in the state.
“Flood insurance can be purchased anywhere. The pricing usually is associated with some of the modeling of which areas are subject to flooding,” Ommen said.
Ommen said anyone can get flood insurance. You just need to be a homeowner, renter or business owner.
Depending on where you live, the federal government may require you to purchase the flood insurance.
“The reality is certain mortgagers, lenders, banks require coverage for any purchase of land that is down in those flood plains. It’s important for all consumers to recognize the risk associated with high rains and what that can mean for coverage available in their particular area,” Ommen said.
According to FEMA, on average people pay under $900 for flood insurance.
The cost of flood insurance takes in factors like the year the building was constructed, building occupancy, number of floods, location of its content, flood risk, location of the lowest floor in relation to the base flood elevation on the flood map and deductible and amount of building and contents coverage.
Homeowner's and renter’s insurance does not cover flood damage, but Ommen said there are some alternatives like a sump pump.
“To check your policy of sump pump coverage. A lot of homes here in the Midwest, certainly here in Iowa, rely on a sump pump system in order to keep the water out of their basement. That is common coverage that currently is available through homeowner's insurance,” Ommen said.
To learn more information about flood insurance, click here.