California Flooding — Homeowners & Businesses & Flood Insurance

It’s tough to live in California these days. Fire was the problem the last decade or so. Today it’s flooding. Damage to hills and trees from wildfire hasn’t helped when you consider how much rain has fallen in the last couple of weeks.

How bad is it? Super bad. Since Christmas estimate are that 32 trillion gallons of water have fallen in the form of rain or snow. Some parts of California have gotten a staggering three-feet of rain. That has caused severe flooding, and at the time this is written, 19 people have died.

As a result of all that rain and snow, the US Drought Monitor says it has brought a huge percentage of the state out of the drought conditions experienced over the last few years.

A few weeks ago drought conditions existed in 27.1% of the state. Today, it’s .032%.

AccuWeather has estimated the storm damage that has hammered California since Christmas. Damages from flooding, landslides, downed trees, road closures and power outages will end up at $31 billion to $34 billion.

All of this brings us to the problem with flooding. Most residents suffering flood damage in California do not have flood insurance. Statistics say just 230,000 homes and buildings have a flood policy.

Most — 191,000 — come from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The rest have been issued via a private insurer.

Amy Bach is the executive director of the insurance consumers group, United Policyholders. She nailed down the problem with one short statement. “People think the only people that need flood insurance are people who live right on the beach or on the banks of a river that has a history of flooding,” she said.

Neptune is one of the private insurers working in California. Trevor Burgess is the company’s CEO. He said in the first 10 days of 2022, Neptune sold 53 policies in California. In the same time period this year, Neptune sold 313.

That’s a 500% increase.

“Storms, even as they are this terrible tragedy — human tragedy and tragedy for property — it does have the effect of reminding people that they are vulnerable and need to protect themselves,” Burgess noted.

Unfortunately, in the case of places where flooding is already occurring, the purchase of flood insurance is too late.

Source link: Insurance Journal —

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