Consumer Advisory: Spring showers bring increased flood risk

Division of Insurance offers tips on buying flood insurance.

DENVER (May 9, 2016) – Many homeowners do not realize that their basic homeowners insurance does not include protection from flood damage, and that flood insurance must be purchased as a separate policy. As spring’s warmer weather also brings heavy rains, severe weather, rapid snowmelt and overflowing rivers, now is the time to consider buying a flood insurance policy.

The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), encourages consumers to “Take 5 and Get Wise” about flood insurance.

Not just high-risk areas - floods also happen in medium and low-risk flood zones

As we in Colorado know, floods can happen anywhere, anytime. Often, they accompany natural disasters such as storms, early snowmelts or rising rivers, but not always. About 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from outside of high-risk areas. To help people determine their flood risk and the need for flood insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers Flood Insurance Rate Maps, which are updated regularly.  Homeowners can view the maps at www.floodsmart.gov

Buying flood insurance

FEMA administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federally subsidized program available to any property owner —homeowners, renters, condominium owners and associations — whether or not the property is in floodplain. National Flood Insurance premiums vary depending on location and the type of coverage chosen. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period after applying and paying the first premium for the insurance to become effective. Coverage choices include insuring only the structure of a home or also including its contents.

Contact your insurance agent about buying flood insurance. If you do not have an agent or your agent does not sell flood insurance, contact the NFIP at 1-888-379-9531 or go to www.floodsmart.gov to get the name of an agent in your area. National Flood Insurance is sold through a private insurance agent selling it to a community that has joined NFIP.  Through the NFIP, the federal government makes flood insurance available in communities that have reduced future flood risks. Over 19,000 communities in the U.S. and its territories participate in the NFIP.

For more information, visit the DOI flood insurance webpage or the FEMA / NFIP website www.floodsmart.gov.  At floodsmart.gov you can also enter your address to get an estimated flood risk profile. 

Visit AskDORA.colorado.gov for more consumer-related tips and information from DORA.

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The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues.  Visit dora.colorado.gov/insurance for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745
DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675
 

Media Contact:
Vincent Plymell
Division of Insurance
p: 303-894-2261 | c: 303-910-9614