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What is Flood Insurance?
Homeowners’ insurance policies typically protect against a range of physical perils, but flooding is often excluded from their coverages. When water levels begin to rise, California residents usually need flood insurance if they want coverage.
Flood insurance is readily available for many different properties. Policies can be purchased to protect single-family homes, multi-unit residences and even renters’ personal belongings. Many insurance companies offer policies for commercial properties, too.
Who in California should carry Flood Coverage?
Federal law generally dictates that anyone who owns property in a high-risk flood zone must carry flood coverage, and lenders often have a similar requirement on their loans. Not only should people who own such properties probably carry coverage, but they’re likely required to. This usually applies to both residential and commercial properties.
People who own properties that aren’t in high-risk flood zones have the option to purchase coverage, but normally aren’t required to do so. Whether these owners choose to get coverage depends on their property’s location, the property’s value, the cost of insurance and their personal risk tolerance.
The various zones are determined by the National Flood Insurance Program. A state-licensed insurance broker who specializes in flood coverage can check how any California property is categorized by the NFIP.
How can property owners purchase coverage from the NFIP?
Only properties that are categorized as high-risk can be insured through the NFIP. For these properties, the program offers subsidies that make flood coverage affordable.
A knowledgeable insurance broker can help qualified property owners procure coverage through the NFIP, after confirming that the property is in a qualifying zone.
What risks do Flood Policies cover?
The exact risks that flood policies cover are determined by the particular language of a policy. Allowing for various terms, flood policies might cover risks such as:
- Rising water levels
- Atypical wave patterns
- Mudflows and mudslides
- Other noted risks
Coverage for mudflows and mudslides is probably the least standard protection of these. Owners who have properties in the mountains should, therefore, work closely with an experienced broker if this specific protection is needed. An broker can check whether a policy offers this protection, and what the protection includes if it’s offered.
Are plumbing issues covered by Flood Policies?
Flood policies typically exclude plumbing-caused water damage, as the policies are primarily designed to insure against abnormal water patterns that are caused by natural forces. Coverage for plumbing is often available through homeowners policies.
How much are premiums for Flood Policies?
Flood policies can be expensive when purchased outside of the NFIP. The NFIP’s subsidies make coverage affordable for high-risk properties. Owners of properties in other zones should consult with an independent insurance broker to find out how much insuring their property will be.
An independent insurance broker can show property owners multiple policy options from different insurers, which is especially helpful when purchasing coverage on the private market. Seeing various policies is the only way to accurately compare coverages and premiums.
How can California property owners get Flood Insurance?
For assistance with flood insurance, contact the independent insurance brokers at Heffernan Walton Insurance. Our brokers have assisted clients who have high-risk properties and people who have properties with different classifications. We’ll check how your California property is categorized, and then find the most suitable flood coverage for it.