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Additional insurance needed for flood coverage

Posted: 4:19 PM, Aug 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-21 21:38:30Z

Clean up is still underway for many of the residents in the 38th street area in Council Bluffs and some are now realizing flood insurance would be a good idea.

What some people may not realize is that basic homeowner's or renter's insurance typically does not cover flood damage.

While you can add backup and sewer coverage, that still won't cover flooding damage if the water enters any other way.

State Farm agent Matt Dougherty says a bird's eye view can usually tell if flood insurance, which is controlled by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will cover the damage.

"If you were a bird and you were looking down on the loss, and you could see standing water around the structure, that typically is what's covered under flood insurance, which you see most commonly."

During clean up today in Council Bluffs, Westwood Apartments  property manager Sarah Tschetter says some of the tenants already had flood insurance, but not all realized they needed it in addition to their renter's insurance.

"One tenant, she didn't know that there wasn't flood (coverage) and so it was a shock to her. And obviously now she's getting it, but at the time of all this it's not going to help her."

Some think the additional insurance is too expensive, but on average the cost of flood insurance is typically about the same as your homeowner's policy. 

However, it also depends on how much coverage you need.

"Typically I tell people, can you afford not to have it if it's truly a risk where you should have it," Dougherty adds.

Events like Monday's flash flooding can be a wake up call to those who hadn't given it a thought or just don't know about flood insurance.

"I would assume, as just a normal person, that everything would be covered. So maybe those young people who this is their first place or they're just getting out on their own, they may not know those questions to ask," Tschetter says.

If you have any more questions about flood insurance, it's recommended that you talk to your insurance agent.