Flood insurance Iowa  |   Flood insurance rate map Iowa

Iowa flood maps

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Does my Iowa homeowner insurance cover flooding?

A typical Iowa homeowners’ policy is written through Farmers, State Farm, Allstate, and Progressive, for instance, excludes flooding as something that will be covered under their homeowner’s policy.

In most cases, the only way to get flood coverage is by purchasing a stand-alone flood insurance policy. However, you should ask your homeowners agent if you can add an endorsement to your homeowner’s policy to cover flooding. Yet, don’t be too surprised if the answer is NO.

Flood Insurance rate maps can be as old as 40 years out of date
Flood Insurance Rate Maps
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Do I need flood insurance in Iowa?

Flood insurance rate map Iowa

It is important to have flood insurance coverage in Iowa because our beloved Cowboy State has seen a fair share of flooding, and there is likely more coming.

We believe that most homeowners think about Flood insurance in Iowa at some point, maybe before buying a home, or during the closing process.  However, many of us only think about it when a big storm is looming, or we have heard on the news that there is flooding forecasted or happening currently too close to our home.

If your home or business is in a flood zone, that is considered a low flood risk area. Sadly, many homeowners decide to forgo purchasing coverage because they believe they are safe from flooding. Some real estate agents and some insurance agents may even say you don’t need it.

IIowa flooding map

I ask you to consider the facts: 20-percent of all flooding events across our nation come in areas that are considered low risk. After our last few major storms (Hurricane Harvey), we saw flooding in these low-risk areas.  In 80 percent of these individuals, they had water in their home or building and didn’t have flood insurance coverage.

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In Harris county, nearly 135,000 homes were damaged.  Three-fourths of these properties were considered low to moderate risk.

Iowa flooding map | Iowa flood plan map

We hear often that people believe that the government will help, and this is true.  However, there are a few things that must align for you to get Iowa flood insurance assistance.

1 – The president of the United States must declare the flooding event a state of emergency.  If this doesn’t happen, then there won’t be assistance.

2 – The average amount of assistance that homeowners get after a flood, when they do not have flood coverage, is $5,000.  The average cost of damage to one’s property after a flood is $38,000+.  That $5K you get from the government?  It comes in the form of a loan and you will need to pay it back.  Are you willing to gamble away your financial future by forgoing flood insurance coverage?

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-fema-faulty-flood-maps/
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One more note on these low-risk flood zone maps. Many of these maps are over 40-years old. If the area has been developed, then there is likely more concrete, creating a barrier for land that previously, might have absorbed the massive downpour.

Flood plain map Iowa

Because of all these factors, it is difficult for property owners to know their true risk of flooding. FEMA admits that their flood maps only give an idea for part of the risk. Our recent storms are facts that it can rain anywhere within Iowa, and you should consider getting flood coverage, so you are not uninsured when you need it most.

FEMA flood zone maps often take years to go into effect after the terrain was studied, this gives the impression that the area is “more up to date” then it really is.

The average cost for Iowa flood insurance in these Low-risk areas is $595 per year.

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and all federally backed lenders rely on these Iowa flood insurance maps to assess risk, set premiums, and determine who is required to purchase flood insurance. Bad information about an areas flood risk can leave property owners under or uninsured.

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How much is flood insurance in Iowa?

Iowa NFIP flood insurance.

There are many options available in Iowa regarding flood insurance, but they basically fall into two main categories.

  1. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), also known as FEMA, which is the government option for flood insurance.  The NFIP has enjoyed a 50-state monopoly on the flood insurance market. Not “private flood insurance” but NFIP Resellers
  2. If you have Nationwide Flood Insurance, State Farm Flood Insurance, Progressive Flood Insurance, or any of the of the logos below then you are buying the NFIP flood policy that is just being resold through a government program. These companies are private companies, but their flood insurance is not. Here is a list of the 70 companies that resell the NFIP policy.
https://www.fema.gov/wyo_company

Progressive Flood Insurance

Flood insurance Iowa quote online

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Iowa private flood insurance market

 

Llloyds of London Flood Insurance ShopperThere are alternatives to the NFIP or government insurance.  It is called Private flood insurance most notably Lloyds of London Flood insurance, however, there are other options available in Iowa. We shop all the options for your property in your region to ensure you are getting the best premium.  If you are ready to have us do the work for you, please click here.

Private flood insurance Iowa

Our shopping does include the NFIP because sometimes we find that with government subsidies you can get a much better premium.

Iowa flood insurance 

Lloyds of London Flood Insurance Iowa Market

 

Iowa is fortunate to have many Lloyds of London flood insurance options. Although many Lloyds flood insurance companies will have you assume that there is only one option, nothing could be further from the truth.

Lloyds of London has a rich history and is attributed to have invented the very first modern insurance model. Unlike most of its competition, Lloyds of London is not really a company but rather a corporate body.  This structure works quite well since it has been around for over 330 years. Lloyds operates under multiple financial backers that all pool their capital to spread the risk.

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I have two blog posts that take a deep dive into Lloyds of London and what they mean to Iowa’s flood insurance market.  If you are interested, the links are below.

Lloyds of London

NFIP vs Private Flood Insurance

Lloyds also insures the world for flood insurance, meaning they cover flooding events in India, Australia as well as much of Europe.  You see the “game” of insurance is to spread your risk since Lloyds is worldwide.

Lloyds of London Private Market Flood InsruanceMy joke here is that Lloyds is banking on God’s promise that he won’t flood the entire world again, …..so they won’t have to pay out the whole world’s flood claim.

How much does flood insurance cost in Iowa?

There are many factors that go into getting the cost of flood insurance for Iowa. If your home is in what is considered low-to-moderate risk, you can get a heavily subsidized policy though the government.

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Iowa flood insurance low-to Moderate Risk rate and cost.
This is Flood Zone X, which is not lender required flood zone.

This is usually identified as an X-flood zone.  Then we would suggest the government Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) which is a subsidized policy and has set flood insurance coverage limits (see grid below):

$250K (Residental) /$500K (commercial) Building
NFIP Maximum Coverage Limits

Here a link if you want to really dig into this one. Be ready for an eye chart because every option is public record and should be standardized accost whoever writes these policies.

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The average cost for flood insurance in Iowa with the maximum set limits in these Low-risk flood zone areas is $405 – $700 per year.

A flood zone and SHFA rate maps
FEMA High-risk Rates

If your property is in higher-risk flood zone, it is usually identified with a Flood Zone AE. Your lender will require you to have flood insurance. The cost of flood insurance in Iowa depends on many factors that are unique to the structure. We are going to try to give you an idea for the most common homes we see in Iowa with a basement foundation.

We will look at the Iowa cost of flood insurance for the NFIP maximum of $250,000 for the (building only) with NO CONTENTS and our recommended deductible of $5,000.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1523307331106-4cf9726b2eb04c3471a3e9d37a58fa6a/09_prp_508_apr2018.pdf

We will be rating this example on the NFIP, as well as on a few of our private flood insurance policies, specifically Lloyds flood insurance options in Iowa.

Cost of Flood Insurance in IOWA in high-risk flood zone AE

Our example is in Cedar Rapids, but the premiums will be the same if in Des Moines, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Sioux City and many other Iowa flood zones.

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In our example, the Base Flood Elevation (BFE is 726) and is a home that is built before 1973

Base Flood elevation Oregon

NFIP option in Iowa Flood Zone AE

 NFIP – Coverage of $250,000 building coverage (no Contents coverage) and $5,000 deductible

NFIP Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $3,762.00

This option is what we see if the property has had a flood loss before, and either doesn’t have an Elevation Certificate applied or the Elevation certificate showing that the lowest floor is 4 feet under the BFE for the area. You can use 10% of your coverage to cover other structures on your property

 

Iowa Private flood insurance – Lloyds of London Flood Insurance (option 1)

Coverage of $250,000 building coverage (no Contents coverage) and $5,000 deductible

Lloyds of London (option 1) Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $983.15

This option is great, and we are very happy when we can get this option. They can be a bit choosey about what risk they will accept and will not take anything that has had a flood loss. They do offer coverage for basements, about $2,000 for loss of use, $2,000 for other structures, but they can’t increase this coverage. They do not require an Elevation Certificate to rate.

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Iowa Private flood insurance – Lloyds of London Flood Insurance (option 2)

Coverage of $250,000 building coverage (no Contents coverage) and $5,000 deductible

Lloyds of London (option 2)  Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $1,234.73

This option is great, and we are very happy when we can get this option for our clients as well. They seem to be writing almost all risks; however, they do not write any property that is in a designated floodway or has the depth of -4 under the BFE.  In our example, with our BFE being 726, if the lowest floor is 722, then they will not accept this risk.  They will not take anything that has had a flood loss. They do offer limited coverage for basements and do not require an Elevation Certificate to rate, and as a percentage of coverage for loss of use. If you want coverage for other structures, then that will need to be added.

 

Private Flood insurance option (option 3) – Not Lloyds 

Coverage of $250,000 building coverage (no Contents coverage) and $5,000 deductible

Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $3,385.43

This option will take properties that have had one flood loss as long as it has been more than five years, and the payout was under $100,000 on the claim. Their coverage matches the NFIP.  They will write practically all risks, don’t need an elevation certificate to rate, and are a bit lower in premium than the NFIP.

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Private Flood insurance –  Lloyds of London (option 4)

This option must be written on the Replacement Cost Value (RCV) of the building, otherwise there is a co-insurance penalty that kicks in. So, $250,000 might be a bit low in California, but to keep this going, let’s just use that for this option

Coverage of $250,000 (RCV) building coverage, No Contents and $5,000 deductible

Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $1,337.24.

FLOOD NERD FISHINGThis options rating system is all over the board.  Sometimes we get a crazy great price, but other times the premium is way higher than the NFIP will consider taking a property that has had one flood loss before as long as it has been more than ten years and the payout was under $50,000 on the claim. Their preferred coverage is at replacement cost, which is a bit different from some of our other Lloyd’s flood options.  We usually reserve this one if the property doesn’t fit into any of our options above. We can adjust coverages to control premiums. As mentioned before, this underwriters’ rates are all over the board.  It is worth shopping through to make sure we are getting you the best premium we can. They don’t need an elevation certificate to rate.

Private Flood insurance –  Lloyds of London (option 5)

Coverage of $250,000 (RCV) building coverage, No Contents and $5,000 deductible.

Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $1,545.00

This option came out of the company that used to run the NFIP program, so the coverage almost exactly matches the NFIP coverage with two differences. They offer living expenses which will cover your cost, when you are displaced from your home during repairs (most Lloyds flood policies offer this).  They also offer swimming pool clean out, which is kind of unique so if you have a pool ask for this coverage.

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Private Flood insurance –  Lloyds of London (option 6)

Coverage of $250,000 (RCV) building coverage. No Contents and $5,000 deductible.

Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $2,823.00

This options rating system is also all over the board. Sometimes we get a crazy low price; other times the premium is way higher than the NFIP. They will consider taking a property that has had one flood loss before as long as it has been more than ten years and the payout was under $25,000 on the claim. They have been rumored to give a low price the first year and then non renew following years or sometimes they jack the price way up so we will watch them. They have a slick system, and their underwriting is managed by a 3rd party, which also seems to be a glitch sometimes.

There are more options coming online every day, and we are working to be looking into every viable option.

Yes please shop my flood insurance

Currently, Iowa has 12,345 NFIP policies in force to date with the total cost of $12,894,876. That would make the average for Iowa $1,045. Of course, some will pay more, and some will pay less.

Click here to have us shop and save you money.

Hello, Iowa!  Thanks for visiting our page for all your flood insurance needs.

Let’s start with Black Hawk, Iowa!  Black Hawk’s average flood rate is $1,107.  Their total number of active flood policies is 103 with $114,022 in written premiums.

Cedar Falls, Iowa has 270 active flood policies.  The average flood rate in Cedar Falls is $1,227 with $331,360 in total premiums.

Flood insurance in waterloo Iowa

$1,200 is the average flood rate for Waterloo, Iowa.  Waterloo has $326,322 in written premiums with 272 flood policies in effect.

When we look at Boone and Waverly, we see a total of 215 flood policies with $166,030 in flood premiums.  This allows the average flood rate to be $772.

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The average flood rate in Independence is lower than the state average, computing at $888 Independence, Iowa has 108 active flood policies with $95,922 in total premiums.

Butler, Greene, and New Hartford, Iowa have 206 total flood policies with $203,301 in written flood premiums.  The average flood rate for these areas is $987.

The average flood rate for Mason City, Spencer, and Clayton is $813.  The total premiums in these areas add up to $168,240 which includes 207 total flood policies.

110 total flood policies make up $114,480 in premiums in Clinton, IowaClinton’s average flood rate is $1,041.

Clive’s average flood rate is higher, coming in at $1,869.  The total number of policies in Clive, Iowa is 151 with $282,183 in premiums.

$1,017 is the average flood rate for West Des Moines, Iowa.  West Des Moines has $107,769 and 106 flood policies in effect.

Let’s look at Dyersville, Manchester, and Burlington, Iowa.  These areas have 195 total flood policies and $249,038 in premiums.  The average flood rate here is $1,277.

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Hello Des Moines!  Thanks for checking out our page.  Your average flood rate is$1,034.  The total number of flood policies in Des Moines, Iowa is 797.  Your written premiums total up to $823,997.

In Charles City, Iowa, there are 118 flood policies in effect.  The premiums add up to $112,260 which allows the average flood rate in Charles City to be $951.

Hamburg and Missouri Valley, Iowa have an average flood rate of $1,456.  Their total number of active flood policies is 181 with $263,489 in written flood premiums.

When we look at Marengo and Coralville, we see that their average flood rate is $1,106.  This includes $275,502 in premiums and 249 active flood policies.

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Iowa city flood insurance

501 flood policies are in effect in Iowa City, Iowa.  The total number of flood premiums in Iowa City totals up to $836,279.  This allows the average flood rate to be $1,669.

Cedar Rapids Iowa flood insurance

Hello Cedar Rapids, Iowa!  You all have the highest numbers in the state!  The average flood rate is $865.  The active flood policies in Cedar Rapids are 1,601 with $1,384,827 in premiums.

209 flood policies are in effect in Linn and Marion, Iowa.  Linn and Marion have $128,560 in premiums which allows the average flood rate to be $615.

$131,732 in premiums are written in Palo, Louisa, and Oakville, Iowa.  The average flood rate in these areas is $553 which includes 238 active flood policies.

Red Oak and Muscatine, Iowa have 251 flood policies in effect with $228,740 in premiums.  The average flood rate here is $911.

Let’s check out Polk, Iowa!  Polk has 132 active flood policies with $82,522 in premiums.  The average flood rate in Polk is $625.

Council Bluffs, Iowa – glad to have you here!  You all have 745 active flood policies with $712,245 in written premiums.  Your average flood rate is $956.

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Bettendorf’s average flood rate is a little higher, coming in at $1,563.  The total number of premiums in Bettendorf, Iowa is $398,521 with 255 active flood policies.

Davenport, Iowa has quite a few active flood policies – 575 to be exact!  The total premiums in Davenport are $871,099 which causes the average flood rate to be $1,515.

The average flood rate drops a little to $1,338 when we look at Scott and Ames, Iowa.  Scott and Ames have 281 active flood policies with $375,952 in total premiums.

173 active flood policies make up Kalona and Decorah, Iowa.  The average flood rate in Kalona and Decorah is $755 which includes $130,586 in flood premiums.

Finally, we’ll check out Sioux City, Iowa.  Sioux City has 213 active flood policies and $299,535 in written premiums.  The average flood rate in Sioux City is $1,406.

Thanks for checking out all the flood information on Iowa!!

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Iowa flood insurance cost

For decades, the NFIP has over-charged 50 percent of its policyholders and under-charged the other 50 percent, while it has racked up $42 billion in taxpayer-funded losses, equating to more than half of every claim paid by the NFIP since 1978.

About 30 percent of NFIP claims payments go to the same 3 percent of insured “repetitive loss” structures year after year. When you do the math, this means that the other 97 percent of their flood-exposed constituents could have paid in less and still netted larger claims payouts if they had better access to private flood insurance. In fact, a recent white paper by Milliman found that 90 percent of homes in Sandy-struck New York and New Jersey would see reduced flood insurance rates through private insurers.

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References
the following documents contain additional hydrologic data, flood photos, historic flood descriptions, floodplain delineations and other pertinent information, and should be considered supplemental to this flood warning plan:
https://bsa.nfipstat.fema.gov/reports/1011.htm#COT
https://www.fema.gov/average-claim-payments-date-loss
https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1486576697135-ac6348fb2a3d98ceba33cf3f38422dbc/Claim_Loss_Counts_Sept2016.pdf
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1458666638945-d752cb148ef1348b4b1c22acec66a0bd/Claim_loss_count2015.pdf
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1393877884619-3091f75bf9d46a26f5beb7d423c34529/Total_Claim_Count_fy2013.pdf
https://www.weather.gov/safety/flood-states-ia