Some Vail Valley residents will need flood insurance |

Some Vail Valley residents will need flood insurance

Daily staff report
It takes 30 days for a flood insurance policy to take effect, so check your coverage now.
Daily file photo

EAGLE COUNTY — Warming temperatures mean spring runoff, and with above-average snowpack in the high country, now is a good time for Eagle County hom­eowners, renters and businesses to think about flood insurance.

The Eagle County Office of Emergency Management and Eagle River Fire Protection District encourage everyone to review their insurance needs before snow melt and spring rains bring the potential for flooding. Spring runoff in Eagle County typically peaks between mid-May and mid-June; however, flood conditions can occur with sustained warm temperatures. 

Floods can happen anytime, anywhere, and without warning. What most people don’t know is that the damage from a flood is not covered under standard homeowners insurance policies. A standard policy also does not cover mudflows, rivers of liquid and flowing mud. Flooding and mudflows can develop when water saturates the ground, such as from rapid snowmelt or heavy or long periods of rainfall. Even if you do not live near the water, flood insurance is a good idea to protect your home against events such as broken water lines.

Flood insurance is a special policy that is federally backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and is available for homeowners, renters and businesses. The standard flood insurance policy pays for direct physical damage to insured property up to the replacement cost or actual cash value (ACV) of actual damages or the policy limit of liability, whichever is less.

You may purchase flood insurance covering up to $250,000 of flood damage to your home. A standard flood policy will cover structural damage, including damage to the furnace, water heater, air conditioner, floor surfaces (carpeting and tile) and debris clean-up. The contents of the home are not covered under a standard policy, but for an additional premium, you also may purchase flood coverage for up to $100,000 of damage to your personal property. Coverage for basements, crawlspaces and ground-level enclosures on elevated homes is limited. If your home has these spaces, be sure to ask your insurance agent about any restrictions in your coverage.

Flood is not covered under basic renters insurance policies. Talk with your insurance agent about your flooding risks to decide if you need flood coverage for your belongings.

A business flood insurance policy coverage will cover up to $500,000 on a non-residential building and up to $500,000 in contents. Contents only policies are also available.

It’s important to plan ahead. A flood insurance policy normally will not go into effect until 30 days after you purchase the policy.

According to, the average homeowners flood insurance premium for a preferred risk policy is less than $400 a year. Premiums for flood insurance will vary depending on your risk level for a flood loss, the amount of coverage you choose, the type of coverage you need, and your deductible. You can normally choose different deductibles for building property and personal property cover­age. The deductibles will apply separately to building property and personal property claims. Your mortgage company can require that your deductible is no more than a certain amount. 

You can purchase flood insurance for your home or business regardless of whether the property is in a floodplain. Contact your insurance agent or company to find out if your community par­ticipates in the NFIP. You can also visit to get more information about your flood risk. 

In Vail, an interactive map identifying the locations of sand distribution points, high-water checkpoints, historic flood areas, FEMA NFHL data, and more can be accessed from the Town of Vail Flood Preparedness site at The maps indicate the approximate floodplain locations in Vail, and can be used as a reference for homeowners to determine whether their property is located near a floodplain area.

Also, the town of Vail will provide free sand material and empty bags upon request for residents and businesses who wish to safeguard their property from the possibility of high water. Call the Public Works Department at 970-479-2158 to make arrangements.

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