DENVER-Whether you own a home or a business, you need to be proactive when it comes to flood insurance. With heavy snowpack this year, there is strong potential for spring flooding. In addition, wildfires devastated Colorado over the last few years destroying vegetation. The burn areas are more susceptible to flooding, because there is no vegetation to absorb the moisture or slow down the flow of sediment and mud in rainstorms.
Do not delay in obtaining flood insurance coverage. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has a 30-day waiting period from the time the flood insurance policy is written and the premium is paid until it goes into effect. A policy purchased even a few weeks from now might not be in effect for spring runoff.
Know your insurance policy and what it covers. NFIP covers the structure of your building only. It is recommended that you also carry a basic NFIP policy on your contents. A basic policy covers the following:
- Up to $250,000 for a home; up to $500,000 for a building.
- Up to $100,000 for personal contents; up to $500,000 for business; up to $100,000 for renters.
- NFIP covers ONLY the depreciated value of your household goods. It does not include replacement value.
- Fine art, collectibles, jewelry, and furs up to $2,500.
- NFIP does not cover such items as autos, machinery, non-household related items, such as yard tools, livestock, lawns, trees, shrubbery, fences, business supplies and equipment.
To protect yourself in the event of a flood:
- Inventory your home. Assign everything a value, so that you have a starting point in case of disaster.
- Document any purchases. Keep receipts in a safe flood-proof place.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners in communities that are part of the NFIP program. NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which works closely with 90 private insurance companies.
Contact an agent or your county or city floodplain administrator to find out whether your community is participating in NFIP. Your agent can advise you on whether you have adequate coverage for your home and valuables. For more information on flood insurance, visit floodsmart.gov.