When most people think of flooding, they think about tidal waves crashing in on land and cars floating around the streets. While this is an unfortunate reality for some, many floods occur as a result of hard rain and/or wind storms.
What many people don’t realize is that everyone in the country is in a flood zone. It’s just that some flood zones are worse than others.
It’s crazy to think that just a few inches of standing water can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home. Living in San Diego, or any other area of coastal California, you’re especially at risk for damage caused by flooding.
According to Floodsmart.gov, from 2010 to 2014 the average residential flood claim amounted to more than $39,000. In 2014, the average flood insurance policy premium was about $700 per year. This makes flood insurance a no-brainer if you live in a coastal area. It is the best way to protect yourself from devastating financial loss.
Flood insurance is available to San Diego homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters.
Flood insurance rates are dependent upon how much insurance is purchased, what it covers and the property’s flood risk.
The closer you are to the coast, the higher your premium will likely be.
All policy forms provide coverage for buildings and contents. Typically, there’s a waiting period, usually 30 days from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect.
Understand that flooding can occur anywhere it can rain. This is important to understand because homeowners insurance specifically excludes coverage for any kind of flood damage.
This means that you are not covered, for a potentially catastrophic situation, unless you purchase your own stand-alone flood insurance policy.
Here is a summary of what’s covered and what’s not:
- The insured building and its foundation
- Electrical and plumbing systems
- Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces and water heaters
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
- Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring
- Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases and cabinets
- Window blinds
- Detached garages (up to 10 percent of building property coverage); detached buildings (other than garages) require a separate building property policy
- Debris removal
Personal Contents Property
- Personal belongings, such as clothing, furniture and electronic equipment
- Portable and window air conditioners
- Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers
- Carpets that are not included in building coverage
- Clothing washers and dryers
- Food freezers and the food in them
- Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500)
Whats Not Covered
- Damage caused by moisture, mildew or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner
- Currency, precious metals and valuable papers such as stock certificates
- Property and belongings outside of an insured building such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs and swimming pools
- Living expenses such as temporary housing
- Financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property
- Most self-propelled vehicles such as cars, including their parts (see Section IV.5 in your policy)
Flood Insurance For Basements and Areas Below the Lowest Elevated Floor
Coverage is limited in basements regardless of zone or date of construction. It’s also limited in areas below the lowest elevated floor, depending on the flood zone and date of construction. These areas include:
- Crawl spaces under an elevated building
- Enclosed areas beneath buildings elevated on full-story foundation walls that are sometimes referred to as “walkout basements”
- Enclosed areas under other types of elevated buildings
- Make sure to ask your agent for additional details on your basement coverage
If you’re looking for flood insurance in San Diego, call our agency today and we’ll make the process easy!