Homeowners in Visalia divided on the value of flood insurance


In Tulare County alone, nearly three dozen homes were flooded. On Monday, this north Visalia neighborhood looked like an island surrounded by several inches of standing water. By Thursday, only sandbags remained.

State Farm agent, Brad Board says this week's storm has prompted many homeowners to question whether they need flood insurance before the next one hits.

Board added, "Its kind a burr under their saddle to have it, but yet, in times like today, I'm kinda glad we do have it, in case I need it."

Board says depending on the value of your home, on average, flood insurance costs anywhere between $800.00 a year to $2,000.00.

To get coverage, homeowners can't order it based on the forecast. They need to undergo a 30-day waiting period.

Board said, "So you can't see that the water is coming and apply for flood insurance and allow it to be enforced for you at that time."

Board works in Visalia, where about 20-percent of homes are required to have flood insurance, because they're in a flood zone -- designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Last year, FEMA re-mapped the area, which required about 8,000 unhappy homeowners to buy flood insurance for the first time.

A Visalia neighborhood just north of the 198 is part of the new flood zone. And while water reached dangerous levels during this storm, some homeowners say they still don't think they need flood insurance.

Fo Crawford said, "I didn't think it was as bad as everybody let on."

Patricia Humphrey said, "None of us were in any, what I consider imminent danger that we have to pay $1,500.00 a year for flood insurance."

Carla Caggiano disagrees. "And it went underneath here"

Caggiano was against paying $180.00 extra a month for flood insurance -- until Monday, when an inch of rain seeped into the furnace area of her home.

Carla Caggiano said, "I'm appreciative that I do have flood insurance. I couldn't see not having flood insurance. I never thought I'd be in a flood zone to be honest with you."

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