Iowans have experienced heavy rains and flooding in recent years, causing many homeowners and renters to consider the purchase of flood insurance. Since a standard homeowners insurance policy does not cover groundwater flooding, the only solution is to purchase a separate, stand-alone flood insurance policy instead. If you live in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which includes the greater Des Moines area, federal coverage is readily available here at Midwest Insurance Solutions.
Understanding NFIP Flood Insurance
The National Flood Insurance Program was created to create a means for property owners to purchase flood insurance when it might not otherwise be available from private insurers. Since the flooding is the costliest and most frequent natural disaster on average, the NFIP has become the source from which flood insurance is purchased, with private insurers sometimes offering supplementation options.
Getting Help After a Flood
Many people are unsure what would happen to their homes and finances after a flood. They may not be aware that their homeowner’s insurance does not cover flooding, or they may wrongly assume that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide aid to cover the costs. The truth is that FEMA only issues aid when the President has declared a federal disaster area, and even then, the benefits are only designed for help with immediate living expenses, such as hotel bills or the cost of finding new clothes. Everything else – from cleanup to restoration – will likely be your personal responsibility. If you have flood insurance, you are covered for both the structure of your home, as well as your personal belongings.
Flood Insurance Policies – Coverage Types
The NFIP provides two types of flood insurance coverage: contents and home. Everyone – including renters at risk of flood damage – can benefit from contents coverage. The home structure coverage is typically recommended for homeowners and people who own condominium units. Currently, contents coverage availability is capped at $100,000, and residential building coverage maxes out at $250,000. If you believe that these limits are too low to meet your needs, talk to your agent about supplemental flood insurance.
Should You Purchase Flood Insurance?
The decision to purchase flood insurance is one that everyone should take seriously. For some homeowners – particularly those in areas at high risk of flooding – flood insurance is mandatory per the terms of a mortgage. Those in low and moderate-risk areas, however, are not necessarily in the clear. FEMA states that approximately 1 in 4 flood damage claims come from policy-holders who do not live in high-risk areas. That means there is a large number of homes being flooded that may rarely or have never flooded before.
Groundwater can wreak havoc on a home, putting a drain on your finances. Considering the cost of just a one-inch flood can total $27,000 or more, imagine how much it would cost to recover after several feet of water seep into your home. Why risk the loss when flood insurance can help protect you from it?
Des Moines Flood Insurance Quotes
If you decide to purchase flood insurance, do not wait. With the exception of new homeowners and certain people who live in recently re-zoned risk areas, there is generally a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance becomes effective. Waiting until the forecast looks bleak is too late.
If you live in the greater Des Moines area, we can help you with your flood insurance needs. Contact our office to find out more about how flood insurance can safeguard your family’s income and assets today.