Did you know, insurance typically does not cover flooding? Homes and business located in flood areas need to purchase flood insurance to cover damages caused by flooding. Because post-wildfire floods are typically more extensive than before wildfires, individuals and businesses downstream of wildfires need to reassess their flood risk and reevaluate the need for purchase flood insurance even if they are outside the FEMA-mapped NFIP flood zone. Here are some key flood insurance points to remember:
- Anyone living in a county, community, or jurisdiction participating in the National Flood Insurance Program has the opportunity to purchase flood insurance. Click here (link: map of WA NFIP communities) to confirm you live in a participating community.
- You do not need to live within a FEMA flood zone to purchase flood insurance, and premiums for those living outside the flood zone are often less expensive.
- The idea of purchasing flood insurance outside of the mapped flood zone (to protect against increased post-wildfire flood risk) may be confusing for insurance agents at first. If you are in an NFIP participating community and want flood insurance, you CAN get it – do not take no for an answer from an insurance agent that tells you otherwise.
- If you are having trouble with your local insurance agent, you can find an insurance agent through FEMA here (link to FEMA insurance contacts) that has been trained in the NFIP program.
- There is typically a 30-day waiting period for insurance to take affect (with rare exceptions). Flooding can occur with the next thunderstorm after a fire – ACT FAST!
- Remember: Post-wildfire conditions combined with thunderstorms can cause flooding in places you have never seen running water and never thought to be at risk. Contact your local NRCS or Conservation District office for more information on your specific risk (link to Key Contacts Map).