Who's responsible for home repairs after I-70 floods?
KDVR-TV (Denver, CO)
DENVER (KDVR) — Nicholas Bay can't believe the damage caused by Sunday's flooding near Interstate 70 in Denver.
"Our carpet was soaking wet, our bathroom was basically just a little puddle," he said. He told FOX31 that early estimates show repairs could cost nearly $15,000.
"I kind of freaked out, called my insurance and they said it wasn't going to be covered," he said.
Insurance experts say 25% of flood claims are made by people who live in low-risk areas in Colorado after unusual events. Many homeowners do not purchase flood insurance, which is a separate policy.
What to know about flood insurance in Colorado
Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Association, said that even with a separate flood insurance policy, determining who foots the bill for repairs can be confusing.
"That separate policy may or may not then cover it if it's found that a municipality is responsible for that flooding, whether it's a main that's broken or some construction issue with drainage, those are things that are going to have to be determined on a case by case basis," Walker said.
Flood insurance covers water rising from the ground and also affects other nearby properties. It is a separate policy that covers what is not typically covered by the basic homeowner's policy.
Walker said that if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, you can buy flood insurance. Policies come with different deductibles and limits based on your location and risk assessment.
It is important to know the difference between flooding and water damage in your home.
"Where you have a washing machine hose break or refrigerator leaking, that's something covered by your standard homeowner's policy," Walker said.
Being prepared before events that cause flooding is important, especially considering flood insurance doesn't go into effect until 30 days after it is purchased.