Natural disasters are a fact of life in Colorado Springs. You can nearly set your watch to them. Every year we are guaranteed at least one moderately destructive hailstorm, one large wildfire, and at least one severe flood. In fact, the threat of flooding in places like West Colorado Springs and Manitou have grown exponentially over the last few years, as extensive burn sites have created large runoff areas. The water no longer soaks into the ground, but instead runs downhill to the streams and rivers.
If you look at the topography of Colorado Springs, you can see the path rainwater takes to find its way to Fountain Creek. In 2012, heavy rainfall caused a rush of water and severe flooding down Circle and Union. Flood maps of the city are extremely precise, and show that one home can be in a flood zone while its immediate neighbor is not.
Short of fire, floods are the most damaging catastrophe homeowners face. Cleanup is expensive, and damage can persist for years if not properly handled. Flood insurance, however, is an extremely expensive addition to homeowners’ insurance policies. All homeowners in the area should consider the threat of flooding and decide whether to carry a flood insurance policy on their home.
This is not a light decision. From my experience in the mortgage industry, I have seen several individuals decide against purchasing their dream home simply because it sits in a flood zone and, therefore, would require flood insurance to be financed. Flood insurance premiums can range anywhere from the same as hazard insurance to several thousand dollars a year.
When purchasing my newest home, I discovered it sits in a flood zone and requires flood insurance. At first, every flood insurance quote I received was in the $4,000 to $7,000 range! Through persistence and shopping around, I eventually found a company who would provide a flood insurance policy for about $1,100 per year. This is not a cheap policy by any means, but it is far cheaper than most quotes I received, and a steal compared to cost of cleaning up after a flood without insurance!
If you suspect you may need flood insurance, or believe the peace of mind that a flood policy would provide is worth it, the best thing you can do is to start shopping around with various insurance brokers to find the right policy for you. You may discover that your home is nowhere near a flood zone; or, you may discover you’re in a very active flood zone. In that case, right now is the time to assess your options and acquire coverage if needed. As with hail, fire, and sub-zero cold snaps, floods are just a part of life in Colorado Springs.
5-25-15 Let the Biblical Floods Subside