Flood leaves Valley homeowners to wonder about flood insurance

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Saturday, January 14, 2023
Flood leaves Valley homeowners to wonder about flood insurance
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After this week's storm, flood insurance has been a topic of conversation. Flooding is typically not included in California insurance policies.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- After this week's storm, flood insurance has been a topic of conversation. Flooding is typically not included in California insurance policies.

All that flood damage is keeping Fresno insurance agent Nick Meigs on the phone a lot lately, with people asking about flood coverage.

"The scenarios we're encountering right now, where the rivers are overflowing or there's water entering the property from outside. That is going to be excluded from homeowners' policies in California," said Meigs.

He said there are two categories of flood insurance are available to homeowners. The first type is the National Flood Insurance Program, which is supported by FEMA. The second type of flood insurance is through private companies.

Meigs says he's seen policy prices upwards of three thousand dollars a year just for private flood insurance. But if you're looking to get coverage right now, you'll have to wait a while.

"The private flood carriers are putting a temporary suspension on new business," said Meigs.

He says with this week's storm in the Central Valley, insurance companies are not able to assess if the flood damage is new or old.

According to Floodsmart.gov, if you wanted to go through the FEMA-supported flood insurance program, there is a 30-day waiting period.

Typically, Meigs said your claim would take 48 hours to be fulfilled by an insurance company they are overwhelmed with claims right now.

"Right now, you're going to see a more protracted claim experience than you would if it was a one-off water claim at your home simply because there's just not enough professionals to help out with that," said Meigs.

He said if you're affected by this flood, construction can take up to a couple of weeks to begin once the water recedes your home.

Some more advice from Meigs, if you are in a flood situation, pictures and videos are helpful to your insurance company, it could help speed up the process for your claim.