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What You Need to Know About Flood Insurance (Winter 2015) << Back
 
You’ve probably heard this horror story before — someone loses a home due to a flood and learns after the fact that their standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage.
 
At AHTKY, we want you to know about the catastrophic risks you may face, before a loss occurs, so you can determine what insurance coverage is appropriate. Winter and the predicted El Nino to come could be a prime season for flooding in our area, so now is a good time to review your options.
 
Because very few companies offered flood insurance, the U.S. government created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968.  Available to homeowners, renters and business owners, this insurance is often required to obtain a mortgage in areas at high risk of flooding.  Because it’s a Federal Government Program, no matter which company services your flood policy, the rates and coverage are exactly the same.
 
You might want to look into a policy just for peace of mind, even if you don’t live in a local flood prone area.   According to the NFIP, nearly 25% of the program’s claims occur in moderate- to low-risk areas. Most people believe that coverage for flood is triggered by natural occurrences such as rain or a tidal wave.  However, not many people know that the flooding we recently experienced at UCLA from broken water mains (some over 100 years old in the LA area!) is also covered.  The definition of flood in the Standard Flood Insurance Policy is defined as:
 
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land areas or two or more properties from:
1. The overflow of inland or tidal waters.
2. The unusual and rapid accumulation or run off of surface waters from ANY SOURCE.
3. Mudflow – A river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water.
4. The collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels.
   
Is flood insurance available in my area?
To participate in the NFIP, a community must adopt and enforce a floodplain management ordinance with rules regarding construction in certain flood-prone areas. In exchange, the government makes flood insurance available within that community. We’re happy to help you find out if you’re eligible for flood insurance. Just give us a call.
 
Is flood insurance available in my area?
The NFIP provides coverage for both the structure and its contents. Coverage for contents is optional, so you may want to give us a call to discuss coverage for your personal property as well as your home.
Keep in mind that you typically can’t purchase flood insurance and have it take effect the next day. There is a 30-day waiting period. (Exceptions to this rule apply, however, particularly when the insurance is required by a lender and is purchased during the process of securing a mortgage.) If you think you need flood insurance, don’t wait to buy a policy!
 
How much does it cost?
As with all insurance policies, the cost of flood insurance varies depending on your situation.   If your home or business is in a high-risk area, such as a “special flood hazard area,” your premium will naturally will be higher than those in a low or moderate-risk zone. Premiums are based on how old the building is, how many floors it has, the location of its contents, your deductible and more.
 
Where can I find more information?
As always, we are happy to help you determine your insurance needs. Stop by our office or give us a call at (310) 516-0110. The NFIP website, at http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program, has answers as well.
 
 
 
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AHTKY Insurance Agency, LLC
1451 W. Artesia Blvd, Suite A, Gardena, California 90248
CA License: 0C46036