The U.S. Geologic Survey warns that the next 200-year flood in California would likely cause more than $700 billion in damage. The damage and destruction would be more devastating than even the “Big One” earthquake. Residents of California who do not have flood insurance coverage risk losing everything as a result of such an event. The last extremely destructive flood in this state was in 1862 when 45 days of heavy rains caused enough damage to bankrupt the state. The next one could be right around the corner. Make sure you protect your assets; you can start by comparing flood insurance quotes in California.
California’s rainy season is from late October through the end of March, and heavy rains during this period frequently cause flooding and mudflows throughout the state.
Believe it or not, recent wildfires in this state have actually increased the risk of residential flood damage. This is because these fires have significantly altered both the landscape and the ground conditions in the affected areas. The ground in these burned areas cannot absorb water very well, so any property downstream of these areas is at risk for flooding and mudflows.
Some Californians mistakenly believe that their home or business insurance policy provides coverage against flood damage, but, with the exception of some rare cases, it does not. If you do not have a specific flood insurance policy, you will be responsible for the cost of cleanup and repair. FEMA may step in during major disasters, but the assistance they provide comes in the form of low-interest loans that you must repay to the government. This assistance is no match for the coverage afforded by a flood insurance policy.
Flood insurance provides an affordable way to get the coverage you need. Basic policies start at less than $150 a year and can provide you with peace of mind when the rainy season starts. Keep in mind that flood insurance will not go into effect until 30 days after you have purchased a policy, so do not wait until flooding is imminent to purchase a policy.
Congress created the NFIP in 1968 because homeowners were unable to get insurance coverage against floods once insurance companies stopped including it among their covered events. The NFIP created a standard flood insurance policy that homeowners throughout the United States could purchase, regardless of their flood risk.
The amount of coverage you wish to purchase and your flood risk, as indicated by FEMA-drawn flood maps, determine the rates for this federally backed flood insurance. You cannot be denied coverage if your property is in a high-risk area, nor can your rates be increased because you have filed a claim.
This flood insurance program has been vital to the financial health of many U.S. residents. In fact, between 1978 and 2013, the NFIP paid our more than $48.1 billion in flood insurance claims.
Flood insurance policies, available for purchase by both individuals and business owners in California, will cover damage associated with the following:
These policies do not cover damage from the following:
When purchasing a policy, you can choose to buy either structural coverage, contents coverage or both. This makes coverage more affordable for those who need only one type of coverage, as is typically the case with landlords, renters and condominium owners.
Flood insurance does not provide contents coverage for property kept in basements.
Even though the federal government backs and provides flood insurance coverage, you can only purchase a policy through a qualified retail insurance provider. Securing flood insurance quotes for your home or business is easy when you have the help of an insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network. These independent agents are available to help you assess your coverage needs, and they can provide you with information about how much a policy will cost for different levels of coverage.
Contact a Trusted Choice agent in or near your California neighborhood to get more information so you can start reviewing flood insurance quotes.