Officials Warn Californians To Buy Flood Insurance

Oct 28, 2015

Federal and California officials are warning that a combination of El Niño rains and damage from wildfires will cause flooding this winter.

State insurance commissioner Dave Jones says you should think about buying flood insurance, even if your home is not in a flood plain mapped as high-risk.

The truth of the matter is the water doesn’t necessarily follow the map,” Jones says. “The map is a nice way to try to assess what the risk is, but at the end of the day, the water’s going to go where it wants to go. And so you’ve got to also use commonsense.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency reports more than 20 percent of all claims it receives occur outside high-risk flood areas.

Jones says the average policy costs about $700, depending on property value. Homeowner’s insurance generally does not cover flooding. Rather, the federal government offers coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.

This story was produced by Capital Public Radio.