Colorado disaster draws attention to flood insurance
The importance of flood insurance coverage has again been exemplified in Colorado. The state has fallen victim to heavy rainfall, which has sparked floods in many densely populated communities. Record-breaking rainfall and the steep mountains found throughout the state created a major flooding disaster for residents of Larimer and Boulder counties. Thousands of homeowners were evacuated from some communities, returning to find that their properties were uninhabitable. Moreover, many of these homeowners found that their homes were not protected because of their lack of flood insurance coverage.
Only 22,000 Colorado homeowners had appropriate coverage
Only 22,000 homeowners in the entirety of Colorado have flood insurance coverage, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which oversees the National Flood Insurance Program. There are an estimated 2.2 million homes in the state, meaning that only 1% of the state’s housing units are protected by flood insurance policies. Homeowners insurance provided do not offer flood protection because of the financial risks associated with certain natural disasters. Therefore, flood insurance is typically a matter for the federal government.
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Homeowners find their claims rejected due to lack of flood insurance protection
More than 7,200 properties were damaged in Larimer and Boulder counties, which experienced the majority of the floods that occurred in the state. Many of those with flood insurance protection have already filed claims and are expected to be receiving financial aid from their insurance providers within the coming weeks. Those without flood insurance protection have filed claims with their homeowners insurance providers, only to find that these claims have been rejected due to the fact that these companies do not cover the damage caused by floods.
State officials point out the damage floods can cause
State officials are calling attention to the damage that can be caused by flooding disasters. In 1997, flooding from the Red River in North Dakota and Minnesota caused more than $2 billion worth of flood damage. More recently, 2012’s Hurricane Sandy caused major damage to properties in New York and New Jersey. The majority of this damage came from flooding and many homeowners are still laboring to recover from the impact of the disaster.