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Most, if not all, Standard Homeowner's Policies DO NOT cover flood damage.
The news is dominated by reports of El Niño, a periodic weather phenomenon caused by rising temperatures in the Pacific Ocean. El Niño is expected to bring heavy rains to California, with some scientists suggesting it may be the strongest El Niño ever recorded.
Many homeowners in Southern California are concerned that El Niño could bring damaging rains to the region. Proactive homeowners are taking steps now to protect their homes from heavy rains such as repairing roofs, fixing rain gutters and trimming large trees, which can topple from heavy rain.
While most homeowners understand the risk of damage to their homes from heavy rains, some may not realize the increased risk of damage from floods. The financial impact of flooding can be disastrous if a homeowner is not propery insured.
The time to act is now, flood policies require 30 days to take effect.
Bill Patzert, a climatologist with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, recently told the Los Angeles Times “This definitely has the potential of being the Godzilla El Niño”.
The National Weather Service is predicting an increase of rainfall in California that is 40-60% greater than average, with Southern California being particularly vulnerable.
Thanks to the availability of Flood Insurance, El Niño does not have to spell financial disaster for California homeowners.
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is urging Californians to obtain Flood Insurance as soon as possible to make sure they are financially protected from flood damage, which is generally not covered under a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.