Iowa Communities Choose to Opt Out of National Flood Insurance Program

July 8, 2010

Last week, Congress voted to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program, and on July 2nd, President Obama signed the extension into law, keeping it active until September 30th, but not everyone is taking advantage of the reinitiated program, especially in Iowa.

According to government officials, only eighteen cities and counties in Iowa have joined the NFIP since the floods that soaked their state two years ago. Why not? Because of paperwork and money.

Specifically, local officials say, the participating communities are required to adopt and enforce flood plain management ordinances in order to reduce damage from future floods, and that process either takes too much red tape, or would increase insurance costs to home- and business owners.

Unless their communities agree to participate in the national flood insurance program, residents of those communities cannot purchase federal flood insurance. This year, 113 Iowa cities and counties within flood hazard areas have chosen not to participate, down from 131 non-participating communities in 2008.