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CA Department of Insurance

El Niño predictions bring advice to consider flood coverage

News: 2015 Press Release

For Release: October 26, 2015
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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El Niño predictions bring advice to consider flood coverage
Consumers urged to prepare for possibility of a very wet season

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - As the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warn of El Niño driven storms causing possible flooding in parts of water-starved California and Federal Emergency Management Administration officials suggest consumers consider purchasing flood insurance, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones reminds consumers to heed the advice and remember that flood damage is not covered by traditional homeowners insurance. 

"Flood insurance may be all that stands between you and devastating financial losses," said Commissioner Jones. "I'm concerned that the above average temperatures we have seen this fall could lull consumers into a false sense of security and that is dangerous. California has seen historic floods caused by devastating El Niño-driven storms in the 1980s and '90s. Heed the warnings and take steps to protect yourself and your biggest asset-your home."

Flood insurance is only available through the Federal Flood Insurance Program and must be in force for 30 days prior to a flood, so experts are suggesting consumers, including those in low-risk areas to look into purchasing coverage well before storms hit. The Department of Insurance echoes the advice to consider flood insurance and also to review existing homeowner coverage to make sure consumers understand what is and is not covered when rain storms cause damage other than flooding from rising water. 

The commissioner also advises consumers to prepare for potential disaster by using their smart phone to do a home inventory and document their belongings and store it in your cloud. Also, consider scanning your deed, insurance policy and other important documents and store them in your cloud for access after the storm.

The department has a number of resources to help consumers with insurance coverage or claim questions. The department's consumer hotline is available toll-free at 800-927-4357.

The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $310 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance website at Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.4357. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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