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February 23, 2017

The “Must Knows” of Flood Insurance

This recent rainy weather has both its pros and its cons. Pro: it helps dramatically with the California drought. Con: it puts whole communities at risk for flooding. In the case of the Oroville Dam, flooding has caused major evacuations for the entire area. Flooding, along with the everyday inconveniences, such as traffic delays and muddy shoes, can cause major damage to people’s possessions and property. It is important to realize that only a small amount of water can cause great damage, resulting in thousands of dollars in repairs. Flood damage ends up being extremely costly and floods are the most expensive natural disasters in the United States each year. In the past 5 years, all 50 states have experienced flooding.

Many people do not think that they need flood insurance because either they think their homeowners insurance covers it or they do not think they are at risk. However, everyone is at risk, whether you live near a body of water or a place with heavy precipitation or not. These recent storms are a great example of why you might need a flood insurance policy. Sacramento has a lot of areas that are at risk for flooding, so be sure to be prepared in case some extreme weather causes damage to your property.

Here are the basics for understanding flood insurance:

1. There is a 30 day wait period for policies to go into effect

Plan ahead for the rainy season. Once it starts flooding, it is too late!

2. You must buy it from an insurance agent

We have agents available at Cliff Cottam Insurance Services that can assist you with purchasing and understanding a flood insurance policy. Call (800) 807-6871 for assistance. 

3. Know what your insurance covers

Insurance policies can be complex and confusing. It is important to know what is covered in your policy, as they might not be as straightforward as they seem. Flood insurance can cover damage to your building and personal belongings (ask your agents for specifics!). It does not cover things like damage caused by moisture neglected by the owner, currency, and living expenses, among other things. 

4. Deductibles vary on policies depending on the property and contents

Rates do not differ from company or agents but rather by property, area, type of coverage, etc. 

5. The Federal government requires those in high-risk flood areas to have flood insurance

If you want a loan for a property in a high-risk area, you must show proof of flood insurance before the loan is granted. To see if you live in a high-risk area you can check flood maps or as always, call us at 800-807-6871 with any questions you might have. 

While this gives you an introduction to flood insurance, there is so much more to know, even if you already have a policy, so if you have a question, always ask your agent or give us a call at 800-807-6871! 

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