Denver, CO -- Colorado residents who live near areas that burned in last year's fires, or along rivers and streams, are at risk from floods and emergency officials recommend they buy flood insurance.
Flood insurance policies take 30 days to take effect, points out David Maurstad, the regional director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), so residents should buy the policies now.
People who own homes and businesses that are flooded usually must pay all the costs for damage themselves. Standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage.
"Those costs can be devastating," says Maurstad. "All your financial security can be wiped out by one act of nature. That is why we urge people to protect themselves with flood insurance."
Last year's fires have increased the flood danger, as the ground cover is gone from burned areas, and those areas are often steep hillsides, Maurstad points out. People who live along rivers and streams also face significant flood risk, because of spring storms and run-off.
Even people who do not live in high-risk areas should consider the policies, says Maurstad. One quarter of all claims to the National Flood Insurance Program are for structures outside high-risk areas. Coverage for those lower-risk areas can begin in the low $100 range annually.
The policies take 30 days before they go into effect, so people who want coverage are urged to buy it immediately.
The policies can cover homeowners, business owners and renters for the cost of damage to their homes and/or personal property.
For details on prices and coverage, those interested should talk to an insurance agent. Policies can be purchased through most agents who sell homeowners insurance. Homeowners, renters and business owners can contact a local agent, or call the National Flood Insurance Program at 1-800-427-4661 for the names of local agents who offer flood insurance.