The number of people in Iowa who have flood insurance has gone up 40% — but a state official says most of the new policies are outside of areas which are considered the most likely places to flood. Bill Cappuccio is the state’s coordinator of the national flood insurance program.
“We are guessing that a lot of the growth is due to people who are buying flood insurance as a condition of their disaster assistance. Not all, but we’re guess quite a bit of it is due to that,” Cappuccio says. The 100-year flood plain is the areas most likely to be hit by flooding, but the flooding in 2008 went beyond that plain, and those people are now required to buy insurance.
He say a lot of communities had structures damaged by flooding in 2008, and if the get public assistance through entities like Small Business Administration, they are then required to get flood insurance. Cappuccio says there’s only a six percent increase in the number of flood insurance policies within the 100-year flood plain. Cappuccio says some people living in the hardest hit areas have not purchased flood insurance yet because they are waiting to see if they’ll receive a buyout from the government.
Cappuccio says there’s a good possibility that a lot of those people have had flood damage, and their policies have lapsed because they are waiting on a mitigation program to buy and demolish their home. Cappuccio says there were over 11-thousand flood insurance policies in May of last year, and now there are more than 15,000.