How is Flood Insurance Slowing Down the Nebraska Flooding Disaster Recovery?

The Nebraska flooding that occurred in early 2019 caused widespread damage across the state. Homeowners, property owners, and farm owners lost everything. So now that the flood waters are gone what is taking disaster recovery so long? One thing that slows down the disaster recovery for an area is flood insurance.

Disaster recovery is a long road as areas like Nebraska and Iowa have shown us. What makes disaster recovery even longer is disaster assistance and flood insurance. FEMA has stated that disaster assistance is not intended to make you whole again after a disaster, but to have some things covered to get you back on your feet. After Hurricane Harvey in Houston FEMA stated that it paid out an average of $4000 on disaster assistance compared to $110,000 on flood insurance. So as you can see the lack of flood insurance can really slow down a disaster recovery.

So how is this impacting the Nebraska flooding disaster recovery? Well according to FEMA less than 1% of property owners who had flood damage in Nebraska had flood insurance. As a result 99% of property owners who had damage are depending on disaster assistance. So why did so few property owners have flood insurance? Well unlike coastal areas like Galveston and Houston Texas who have to deal with the threat of flooding often due to hurricanes, areas like Nebraska do not. According to FEMA Nebraska experiences a major flood every 5 to 10 years. As a result many property owners do not see the exposure serious since it is a passive hazard and does not happen often.

One reason these people do not carry flood insurance because they have been told they are in a low risk flood zone and can get it.  This is completely false flood insurance actually has better insurance rates in low risk zones.

Another reason is they have been told there is only one flood insurance option and its not affordable. This also is not true you have access to the National Flood Insurance Program and  private flood insurance. 

The third reason why so many property owners did not have flood insurance is they were told that flood insurance is not affordable. The average flood insurance policy cost around $750 a year which covers up to $250,000 on the building and $100,000 on contents in most situations. So let's say you pay this premium for 10 years which is a premium of $7500 and you have a deductible of $2000 then suffer a flood loss. The flood loss could cover up to $350,000 compared to not having flood insurance and getting maybe $5000 from disaster assistance.

As you can see not having flood insurance can really slow down a disaster recovery period after a flood disaster. So if you have flood insurance questions or want to know what options are available in Nebraska click the link below to learn more. You can also visit our website Flood Insurance Guru, our YouTube Channel, or Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru where we do daily flood education videos.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com