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CA Department of Insurance

Don't wait until too late to get flood insurance

News: 2016 Press Release

For Release: October 26, 2016
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
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Don't wait until too late to get flood insurance
Residents in high-risk flood areas should heed warnings and consider flood insurance
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As several days of rain, driven by Pacific Hurricane Seymour, are predicted to hit the state, officials from the California Department of Water Resources (DWR), CAL FIRE and the National Weather Service (NWS) warn that weather and ground conditions across California have increased the potential for flash flooding. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones encourages consumers in high-risk areas to assess their individual needs and consider flood insurance, because 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. "As we move into the rainy season, I urge homeowners to review their coverage needs and consider a flood insurance policy. Consumers need to know their risks and prepare before disaster strikes."

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, assess their need to purchase coverage well before big storms hit. Even areas that have never experienced floods may be at risk after years of severe drought and devastating wildfires. The Department of Insurance also recommends consumers consider flood insurance and review existing homeowner, renter, and auto coverage to make sure they understand what is and is not covered when storms cause damage. 

The commissioner also advises consumers to prepare for potential disaster by using their smart phone to record a home inventory to catalog their belongings and store them in their cloud account. Residents should also consider scanning deeds, insurance policies and other important documents and store them in the cloud for easy 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.

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Media Notes:

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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