WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) – With snow on the ground and more rain on the way, flooding will soon be an issue across eastern Iowa.
Scott Parsons owns Allstate Insurance agencies in Waterloo and Cedar Falls. He’s been working in the Cedar Valley for more than two decades.
Parsons said some people may not realize flood insurance takes 30 days to kick in after you buy your policy. This waiting period is in place so people don’t buy their policy after a flood, file their claims and then cancel the insurance.
So, he said you shouldn’t wait to get protected, especially with projected flooding later this spring.
Parsons compares insurance to gambling. Either you take on the risk yourself, or you pay for protection each year. You can buy flood insurance for your home, business or farm. There are different policies based on how much protection you need and where you live.
Parsons said he’s seen people lose everything without a way to pay for damage.
“Things are going to flood, and you don’t have to live next to a body of water,” he explained. “Flood insurance will actually kick in if you have one acre of water surrounding your property.”
NOT JUST HIGH-RISK FLOOD ZONES
He wanted to stress you don’t need to live in a high-risk area to buy flood insurance. In fact, statistics show more than 20% of flood claims come from properties outside flood zones.
“I have so many customers that tell me the stories about, ‘the crick in their backyard that comes up to their back door, but it never made it in.’ But this year may be the year that it makes it in,” Parsons said.
If you rely on government money after a flood, that may not be a good idea either, according to Parsons. He said new rules require people to have flood insurance to receive Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) money.