Jul 13, 2013 12:11 AM by Kirsten Bennett
Citizens impacted by the Black Forest Fire are reminded to seriously consider the purchase of flood insurance. Severe wildfires reshape the terrain and change the hydrology of the soil resulting in a much greater risk of flash flooding in areas downstream from the burn scars. Typical homeowners' insurance policies do not cover flood damage and many insurance carriers do not offer this type of coverage.
Coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is sold by many private insurance agents in our area and is not available directly from the federal government. But NFIP policies do not take effect until 30 days after they are purchased. More information and a listing of local agents can be found at: www.floodsmart.gov
According to FEMA, floods are the number one natural disaster in the United States in terms of lives lost and property damaged. The NFIP provides a means for property owners to protect themselves against the financial effects of flooding, which typically is not covered by standard homeowners insurance. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners.
As recent incidents of flash flooding off the Waldo Canyon Fire burn scar have shown, wildfires dramatically alter watershed behavior; areas that have never experienced floods before may now be at risk for flash flooding.
Residents are again reminded that there is a standard 30 day waiting period for NFIP flood insurance to take effect. Through special legislation enacted after the Waldo Canyon Fire, the 30 day waiting period was extended but only for specific fires originating of federally owned land. At this time no waver of the 30 day waiting period is expected for the Black Forest Fire.
Specific NFIP information concerning homeowners and renters coverage, agents and flood data is available at: http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program/information-homeowners-renters