DES MOINES, Iowa -- Close to 3,000 Iowans signed up for flood insurance less than one year after the floods of June 2008 inundated the state.
Despite that growth, however, less than 20 percent of single family homes in Iowa located in Special Flood Hazard Areas – areas where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has identified as high-risk flood areas – have flood insurance.
That is according to officials with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and why they are working with officials from FEMA to encourage more Iowans to purchase flood insurance.
Officials from both agencies understand that Iowans may still have questions regarding flood insurance and the need to purchase a policy. Here are some other frequently asked questions posed by Iowans concerning flood insurance:
How can I get flood insurance?
If you live in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you are eligible to purchase flood insurance. Over 20,000 communities participate, and it's likely that yours is one of them.
To buy a flood insurance policy, call your insurance agent or company, or call FloodSmart.gov at 1-888-379-9531 to find an insurance agent near you.
What will my flood insurance premium cost?
It is essential that you visit with your insurance agent to determine exact costs.
How is my flood insurance premium calculated?
A number of factors are considered when determining your flood insurance premium. These factors include: the amount and type of coverage being purchased, location and flood zone, and the design and age of your structure. For homes in high-risk areas (e.g., Special Flood Hazard Areas or AE, VE Zones) built after the first Flood Insurance Rate Maps were drawn for that community, the elevation of the building in relation to the base flood elevation is also required.
How can I pay for my flood insurance?
You can pay your insurance premium with a credit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) or with cash, check or money order. Your premium may be paid through an escrow account established by your mortgage lender, at your lender's discretion.
If your lender requires you to buy flood insurance and escrows for other types of insurance or taxes, they are required to also escrow flood insurance premium payments. Your payment for coverage is due to your agent with your application. For details, ask your insurance agent or lender.
Will there be a waiting period for my policy to take effect?
There is generally a 30-day waiting period from the time an insurance policy is purchased to when it actually goes into effect.
What is the policy term for NFIP insurance?
Does a deductible apply to my coverage?
Building and contents policies have separate deductibles for each. This means that if your building and contents are both damaged due to a flood event, both deductibles are applied.
Is there a 'grace period' after a policy has expired?
All policies expire at 12:01 a.m. on the last day of the effective term, but you remain covered for 30 days after the expiration of the policy. Claims for losses that occur in this grace period will be honored, provided that the full renewal premium is paid by the end of the 30-day period.
Will damage-preventing measures I've taken in my home be reimbursed by my Standard Flood Insurance Policy?
Some will be. When your insured home is in eminent danger of being flooded, you may receive up to a $1,000 reimbursement for your damage-preventing expenses. Things like renting storage space to protect your belongings, buying sandbags and lumber to make a barricade, and renting pumps are all things that qualify for reimbursement.