DENVER – Wildfire season is once again raging, and areas throughout the West are feeling the impact. Once the fires are out however, individuals and communities remain at risk for another threat, flooding. Wildfires kill vegetation and leave the ground charred and unable to absorb water. Even areas that are not usually flood-prone are at risk for up to several years after a wildfire.
Unlike fire, wind, hail or most other perils, flood damage is generally not covered by a homeowners’ policy. An uninsured flood loss can undo a lifetime’s worth of effort and create a mountain of bills. Fortunately, a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy protects against such losses and can ensure that a flood doesn’t bring financial ruin.
Flood insurance is easy to get, the only requirement is that you live in a participating community. Participating communities include cities, counties and other jurisdictions that serve unincorporated areas. That’s right; you don’t need to live in a floodplain to purchase a policy. In fact, if you live outside a floodplain you will likely have a much lower premium than those living in a higher risk area. You can often purchase an NFIP policy with your current insurance agent. When that isn’t possible, NFIP can help you find an agent to assist you with a flood policy.
Buyers should be aware of the 30-day waiting period for an NFIP policy to go into effect. It is important to purchase a policy now to protect your property against the continuing threat of flooding, rather than against a specific event or period, like a rainy season.
As with any insurance, be sure to talk with your agent about the specifics of your policy. Find out more about your risk and flood insurance at www.floodsmart.gov. To purchase flood insurance or find an agent, call 1-800-427-4661.