The Federal Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday announced that residents in Colorado affected by flooding as a result of the wildfire in Waldo Canyon and the wildfire in High Park could be eligible for an exception from the 30-day waiting period usually required for flood insurance coverage.
FEMA based its on consultation with the U.S. Forest Service, the agency stated.
The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which was signed into law Friday by President Barack Obama, increases access to the National Flood Insurance Program for some residents whose homes were impacted by flooding from federal land that resulted from wildfires. The new NFIP law exempts these residents from a 30-day waiting period for flood insurance coverage to become effective. Eligibility for the exception is determined on a case-by-case basis.
“Everyone should know their flood risk and make a smart decision based on their risk on whether they should join the millions of Americans who have purchased flood insurance for their homes,” David Miller, Associate Administrator of the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, said in a statement. “Residents impacted by wildfires might live in an area that doesn’t usually have a high risk of flooding, but the fires and dry soil change conditions dramatically. This new law provides a way for people with a heightened risk of flooding following a wildfire on federal land to protect their homes and businesses, and we encourage them to explore this option.”
Individuals and businesses purchasing new insurance policies from NFIP are typically required to wait 30 days for their flood insurance coverage to become effective. The reform provision in this bill created an exception to that requirement for property:
- That is affected by flooding on Federal land,
- Where the flooding is caused, or exacerbated by, post-wildfire conditions on Federal land, and
- Flood insurance was purchased not later than 60 days after the wildfire containment date.
NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding.
NFIP is administered by FEMA, which works with nearly 90 private insurance companies to provide affordable flood insurance to property owners and renters in NFIP-participating communities.