Des Moines, Iowa -- One of the reasons Iowans say they don’t buy flood insurance is they believe the cost is too high. As with any insurance, the cost is based on the risk involved.
Historically speaking, if you compare the risk to the cost, the cost of flood insurance is less than the cost for a homeowners’ policy. There is a 26 percent chance of flood damage occurring over a 30-year mortgage period and an approximately 2 percent chance of that the home will catch fire during the same 30 year period of time.
The price of a flood insurance policy varies depending on where a property is located. In high flood risk areas, where coverage is often mandatory, policies cost more, unless the structure being insured is constructed above the base flood elevation to reduce the risk of flooding. However, most of Iowa falls within the low-to moderate-risk areas for flooding.
In low-to moderate-risk areas, where the risk of flooding is still very real, homeowners or renters have lower cost flood insurance options available in the form of the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Preferred risk Policy (PRP).
Approximately 25 percent of all flood insurance claims are filed in low-to moderate-risk areas. Another important consideration is that a flood insurance policy will pay for damages even if a flooded area does not receive a federal disaster declaration.
For as little as $119 a year, homeowners can insure their home and contents. Also if a person does not own their home, for as little as $39 a year that person can insure the contents of their residence against flooding. For a Preferred Risk Policy, a homeowner can buy a policy starting a $20,000 and go up to $250,000 through the NFIP, and can start at $8,000 and go up to $100,000 to protect the contents their residence.
The Web site FloodSmart.gov has an interactive program that can help Iowans get an idea of their risk of flooding. They can also get an estimate of what flood insurance would cost them on their home and\or the contents of their home.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.