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Carole Walker, RMIIA

Insurance News: Hurricane Harvey - Insuring for the Unthinkable

From: The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association

Contact: Carole Walker, Executive Director, RMIIA | O: (303) 790-0216 / C: (303) 601-8437

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August 28, 2017 – As Hurricane Harvey leaves a path of destruction in Texas, it is a tragic wake-up call that the unthinkable can happen, and we need to take preparedness steps BEFORE disaster strikes. While Colorado doesn’t experience hurricane damage, flooding is the most common U.S. natural disaster and residents need to be financially prepared for flooding, hail, tornadoes, wildfires and other natural disasters.

“Anytime we witness the extent of Mother Nature’s wrath, it is a stark reminder of the importance of understanding what insurance covers, what it doesn’t and how much insurance protection you have,” says Carole Walker, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. “The additional heartbreak of massive flooding in places like Houston and Colorado’s 2013 historic floods, is that property is only covered if you carry a separate flood insurance policy. Homeowners and renters also need a separate flood insurance policy for damage to their personal belongings.” Colorado only has about 23,000 flood insurance policies currently in force.

Homeowners, renters and businesses need to at least consider purchasing flood coverage—even if they don’t live in a flood zone since up to 20% of claims come from low to moderate risk areas. During the past 10 years, the average flood claim has amounted to over $33,000. Flood insurance is not covered under a standard homeowners or renter’s insurance policy, but it can typically be purchased through your insurance agent or company representative. Flood insurance is covered through policies purchased and handled through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Flood insurance must be in place 30 days in advance of the flood. Your car is covered for flood damage if you purchase optional “comprehensive” coverage.

Links to more information on flooding and flood insurance:


  • Understanding what is and isn't covered in your homeowners insurance policy can mean the difference of being able to rebuild your home and replace your personal belongings. Homeowners need to do annual insurance policy "check-ups" to make sure they keep up with local building costs and adjust their coverage to include home remodeling and additions.
  • If you don't have replacement coverage, consider spending a few extra dollars for coverage that pays for the cost of replacing the damaged property without deduction for depreciation. Ask about endorsements for sewer back-up and building code upgrades.


  • The typical homeowners insurance policy covers damage resulting from fire, windstorm, hail, water damage (excluding flooding), riots and explosion as well as other causes of loss, such as theft and the extra cost of living elsewhere while the structure is being repaired or rebuilt.
  • Hail and flood damage to your car is covered only if you have purchased optional comprehensive insurance on your auto policy.
  • The standard policy does not cover flooding, so you may want to look into flood insurance coverage if you're concerned that you're at risk for rising floodwaters.


  • Make a home inventory that includes lists, pictures or a videotape of the contents of your home or apartment. After all, would you be able to remember all the possessions you've accumulated over the years if they were destroyed? Having an up-to-date home inventory will help get your insurance claim settled faster, verify losses for your income tax return and help you purchase the correct amount of insurance.
  • It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but most insurance companies now have apps to help simplify the process. You can add digital photos and scan in receipts, along with your room-by-room online inventory.

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Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association is a non-profit consumer information organization. Affiliated with the Insurance Information Institute, RMIIA has been serving consumers and the media since 1952.

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