DENVER – The deadline for Colorado residents to file an insurance claim with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is 60 days after flood damage to an insured structure. For example, if the flood damage was on Sept. 10, the claim must be filed by Nov. 9. The flood event began in the mountains Sept. 10, and ended Sept. 30, when flood waters flowed out of state.
To date, NFIP has paid out $21.37 million to 1,167 Colorado policy holders affected by the September flooding.
Floods are the most common and costly natural disasters in the United States.
NFIP policies are sold and serviced through many private insurance companies. The policies cover physical damage to a building or personal property that is directly caused by a flood. For example, damage resulting from a sewer backup is covered if the problem is a direct result of flooding. However, if the backup is caused by something else, the damage is not covered.
Who is Eligible?
Individuals who live in 246 NFIP-participating communities in Colorado are eligible to purchase flood insurance. This includes not only homeowners, but also business owners, renters and those who own condo units. A single-family residential building can be insured up to $250,000 and its contents up to $100,000.
Renters can cover belongings up to $100,000, and business property owners can insure their buildings up to $500,000 and contents up to another $500,000.
Even after a home, apartment or business has been flooded, owners and renters are still eligible to purchase flood insurance if their communities participate in the NFIP. However, this insurance will be for future rather than past damage.
A common misconception is that regular homeowner and business insurance policies cover flood damage. They generally do not. Another misconception is that NFIP policies pay retroactively for flood damage. Policies generally do not take effect until 30 days after purchase.
Please also refer to floodsmart.gov for more information about flood insurance.