East County News Service
October 25, 2015 (San Diego’s East County ) – The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is urging all Californians to buy flood insurance before the torrential rains forecast due to El Niño conditions strike. Even those who live in areas at low to moderate risk of flooding should buy flood insurance and do so immediately, since there is a 30-day waiting period before policies take effect, FEMA advises.
“If there was ever a time to buy flood insurance, this is the time,” FEMA’s deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation told reporters at a press conference last week. Flood insurance also provides coverage for damage from mudslides, such as those that buried hundreds of cars on Interstate 5 and State Route 58 recently.
The average flood claim last year for residential properties was over $39,000 yet flood insurance costs about $700 a year.
With possibly the wettest winter in recent memory forecast to begin in a month or so, signing up for flood insurance could be a very wise investment to protect your home.
Standard homeowner policies do not cover flooding caused by rainfall, mud flows or disasters such as hurricanes or tropical storms, so Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program that allows homeowners and business property owners to purchase policies to protect themselves in communities that participate with ordinances that reduce risk of flooding per FEMA requirements.
Flood insurance covers damage to the building, but typically does not cover contents unless you secure optional additional coverage. Just a few inches of water from flooding can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages or even destroy a residence.
You can get information on flood insurance and the flood risk where you live at FloodSmart.gov.
You should also create an emergency response plan for your household. You can get information on preparations to take at the website Ready.gov .