According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), one inch of flooding can cost you $25,000 in damages. Unfortunately, flood insurance is not covered by your homeowners or renters insurance.
Flood insurance premiums are affected by your location and certain property risks, such as foundation type and ground elevation. Most counties in Iowa have had a high number of flooding events over the years.
Consider checking your county to evaluate its flood risk. If you live in a moderate or high-risk flood zone, it’s best to purchase flood insurance to protect yourself financially from the cost of damages.
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The average cost of flood insurance in Iowa is more expensive than the national average due to the flood risk in the state.
Taylor County has the cheapest flood insurance premiums in Iowa.
Shelby County has had the fewest flooding events in Iowa since 1996.
Average Cost of Flood Insurance in Iowa
On average, the annual cost of flood insurance in Iowa is $1,199. Flood risks and property risks contribute to the cost of flood insurance in the state.
Most flood-prone areas may have more expensive flood insurance than those that don’t regularly experience floods. Therefore, prices may vary based on the state and county you live in.
Average Cost of Flood Insurance by County in Iowa
Compared to the national average, flood insurance is more expensive in Iowa. This difference in cost may be attributed to the high number of flood-prone areas in Iowa.
Taylor County has the cheapest rate in the state at approximately $312 per year. On the other hand, Kossuth County has the most expensive rate at around $3,115 per year.
The table below shows the average cost of flood insurance in every county in Iowa.
Iowa Flood Insurance Cost Per County
Companies That Offer Flood Insurance in Iowa
Flood insurance is available from NFIP and private companies. With private companies, you can get a base policy or an excess policy. Private companies are great for non-NFIP communities or when NFIP coverage is not enough.
An excess policy serves as additional coverage on top of your base policy, which is similar to NFIP coverage.
Private Flood Insurance Providers in IA and Their Contact Numbers
Aon Private Flood
Hiscox - FloodPlus
FloodSimple Insurance Services
Zurich Insurance Group
Private Market Flood
NFIP has partnered with several insurance companies to provide more affordable flood insurance policies. The partnership between these companies and NFIP helps make flood insurance more accessible. NFIP’s partner companies in Iowa are listed in the table below.
NFIP-Participating Flood Insurance Providers in State and Their Contact Numbers
Allstate Insurance Company
American Family Mutual Ins. Co
American Nat. Prop. & Casualty
American Strategic Ins. Corp.
Auto Owners Insurance Co.
Refer to the Agent locator
Farmers Insurance Group
Hartford Fire Insurance Co.
Hartford Underwriters Ins. Co.
Homesite Insurance Company
Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company
National General Insurance Co
NFIP Direct Servicing Agent
NGM Insurance Company
Occidental Fire & Casualty
Pacific Specialty Insurance Company
Philadelphia Indemnity Ins. Co
(877) 672-7945 ext. 8295
QBE Insurance Corporation
Selective Ins. Co. Of America
USAA General Indemnity Company
(210) 531-USAA (8722)
Westfield Insurance Company
Wright National Flood Ins. Co.
How to Purchase Flood Insurance and Its Coverage Requirements
There are no specific requirements for buying flood insurance, making the process simple. You can get a policy by contacting your home insurance agent, the NFIP Hotline (877-336-2627) or other providers.
NFIP has a 30-day waiting period and private companies can have a 10-day waiting period. It’s best to contact your provider for details and purchase a flood insurance policy as soon as possible.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover in Iowa?
Flood insurance protects the structure of your home and your personal property. These coverages are important because even an inch of water can cost you $25,000 in damages.
Flood insurance covers “floods” that are caused by a natural calamity or the weather. It doesn’t refer to the water damage caused by broken pipes or appliances.
Swimming pools, decks, patios, landscaping, cash and documents, items in your basement and vehicles are not covered by flood insurance.
Flood Insurance Building Coverage
Repairs and replacement of the physical structure of your home are paid for by the building coverage aspect of flood insurance if you have a covered event. An NFIP policy can cover your structure for up to $250,000.
The following are physical structures that are usually covered by your flood insurance:
- Foundation walls
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing systems
- Furnaces, central heating and air conditioning
- Built-in appliances
- Permanent carpets
- Built-in furniture
Flood Insurance Contents Coverage
Contents coverage pays for the repair or replacement of your personal belongings as long as they were lost through a covered peril. If you have flood insurance from NFIP, your contents coverage can reach up to $100,000.
These items are often included in your flood insurance policy through contents coverage:
- Electronic equipment
- Washers and dryers
Factors That Affect Flood Insurance Costs in Iowa
Before October 2021, the sole factor that determined the cost of flood insurance was your general location.
The FEMA website can show you the historical flood risk of Iowa. Based on FEMA’s data, Polk County has the most flooding events (186), and flood insurance costs $1,248 per year on average in this area. Shelby County has the fewest events (eight) and has flood insurance premiums of around $1,559 per year.
While Polk County has the most flooding events, it’s not the most expensive location in Iowa due to its size allowing the flood to be spread across a wider area.
Risk Rating 2.0
Risk Rating 2.0 is a system that sets affordable premiums for flood insurance. Instead of basing your premiums on the flood map, it considers the following individual property risks:
- Foundation type
- Dwelling structure
- Replacement and repair costs
- Frequency of flooding
- Proximity to bodies of water
Your location can still be a primary influence on the cost of your flood insurance in Iowa. Below are factors that affect your premium.
Under Risk Rating 2.0, flood risk is now an individual factor. You and your neighbors can have different flood risks. Therefore, your premiums will vary. Nevertheless, premiums are more expensive in moderate-risk or high-risk flood zones vs. low-risk flood zones.
Your coverage amount affects the cost of your premium. For example, it’s more expensive to get comprehensive coverage than limited coverage. Different states and counties have different coverages as well.
It’s cheaper to get a policy with a higher deductible, but you’ll pay more if you file a claim. You can have a deductible of $1,000 up to $10,000.
Age of Structure
It’s more expensive to cover older structures because of their susceptibility to damage.
Since Risk Rating 2.0 considers individual risk factors, it takes into account the design and materials of your building. These can affect the cost of your flood insurance.
Do You Need Flood Insurance in Iowa?
Every property can be damaged by flooding, so flood insurance can be a wise investment. FEMA recommends it as additional protection for those who live in low-risk or moderate-risk flood zones. Moreover, it’s required by government-backed mortgages and lenders for those who live in high-risk flood zones.
Homeowners insurance and renters insurance don’t include flood coverage. Federal disaster assistance only gives each household a maximum of $5,000 in loans and grants. Flood insurance covers a significantly larger amount without a presidential disaster declaration. On top of that, it can give you peace of mind.
Frequently Asked Questions About Iowa Flood Insurance
It’s important to find the best flood insurance in Iowa that’s within your budget. To help you with your research, MoneyGeek answered commonly asked questions about flood insurance costs in Iowa.
About Mark Fitzpatrick