Private insurance is an important governance mechanism to prepare for environmental disasters triggered by floods. It forms part of risk management and climate adaptation approaches aimed at the reduction of vulnerability and the rebuilding of damaged structures. However, flood coverage is often low. Germany is no exception to this, although it is a member state of the EU and involved in implementing EU Water Directives. In Germany, flooding has repeatedly resulted in the need for state and federal governments to provide funding for rebuilding for uninsured homeowners. In addition, mitigation and adaptation measures that are required to address the intensity and frequency of flood hazards and climate change are not adequately covered by current insurance mechanisms. Why do such disparities persist? How can they be addressed to reduce risks and assist vulnerable populations? This contribution offers insight from a case study conducted in the southern German municipality of Deggendorf, heavily impacted during the 2013 European and Danube floods. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected during numerous site visits. Research methods included interviews with key informants, a household survey, and geographical analyses. The results show how effective flood risk governance can support sustainable and equitable risk reduction and adaptation.