Iowans Should Buy - And Understand - Flood Insurance

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Release date: 
June 19, 2009
Release Number: 

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Iowa is the only state which has two rivers as borders - the Mississippi to the east and the Missouri to the west. And between those two mighty rivers are hundreds of other small streams, creeks and rivers.

Is it any wonder that Iowa is more susceptible to the devastation caused by flooding than almost any other state? Unfortunately, according National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) officials, over 98 percent of the structures in Iowa are not insured - many of which sustained flood damage in the floods of 2008 resulting in tremendous losses for Iowans.

That's why Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials have teamed up with officials from the NFIP to inform Iowans about these facts concerning flood insurance: 

  • Flood insurance is insurance sold separately from homeowners insurance and not all agencies offer it.
  • Flood insurance protects against losses to buildings and their contents, not the land surrounding buildings.
  • Different types of policies are available depending on flood risk; a property's flood risk is shown on flood hazard maps.
  • Flood insurance is available both within and outside floodplains.
  • To be considered a flood, the waters must cover at least two acres of normally dry ground or affect at least two properties - one of which is your property.
  • If you live in a high-risk area, you will need a Standard Policy - available to Iowa communities that participate in the NFIP. Building and contents coverage must be applied for separately. Most mortgage lenders will require you have such a policy before they will approve your loan.
  • If your home is in a low- or moderate-risk zone, your building may qualify for a low-cost Preferred Risk Policy. Preferred Risk Policies have options for buildings and/or contents.
  • Flood insurance is sold by private insurers or agencies and backed by the federal government.
  • Flood insurance covers homeowners, renters and businesses.
  • With residential insurance, you can get up to $250,000 of coverage to protect your home and up to $100,000 to protect its contents.
  • There is a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before a new flood policy goes into effect.

For more information about NFIP, the types of policies available and a list of agencies that sell flood insurance, visit or call 1-888-379-9531

FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
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