04 Sep Merced California Flood Insurance
Merced, California is a prime example of why the purchase of a flood insurance policy is an important decision for all home and business owners to make, and why it is important to make this decision in a timely manner. Per the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an area is considered a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) if it has a one-in-four chance of experiencing flooding one time during a thirty year period. Much of Merced is classified as a SFHA, and it has been subjected to flooding twice in an eight year period.
The main flooding risk for Merced, CA stems from the Black Rascal Creek. As the flow of the creek is currently not regulated in certain areas, it can inundate Bear Creek during times of heavy rain. Homes and businesses in and around these bodies of water can and will experience flooding and related damages. As some property owners may know, standard home and business property insurance does not typically cover flood damages if the flood is caused by natural events. Unfortunately, this discovery is often not made until after the flood has occurred and costs tens of thousands of dollars or more in damages.
|How Much Does a Flood Cost?
The floods that affected Merced in 2006 resulted in property damage of around $12 million.
The same floods resulted in crop loss was estimated to be around $11 million.
Without flood insurance policies in place, property owners and farmers are left to pay these high damage and loss costs out-of-pocket or with federal loans.
For this reason, property owners in Merced should begin looking carefully at flood insurance providers and the types of policies that are on the market. The federal government has long been the only provider of flood insurance, offering policies through local, regional, and national insurance agencies as part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). To obtain a policy through the NFIP, potential insurees must satisfy several requirements, including submitting a base elevation certificate. To make these policies more affordable, subsidies are sometimes available to offset the cost of the premium.
Another option is to obtain insurance through the privately-backed National Catastrophe Flood Insurance Program (NCIP). The NCIP has significantly different standards than the NFIP as to the amount of coverage they provide, as well as the types and sizes of buildings and structures that they cover. The NCIP is currently available in a select number of states, California being one of them. These policies are not subsidized, due to the fact that they are privately backed and offered.
After a decision has been made regarding which provider offers a policy best suited to the needs of the property owner, time becomes another important factor. Unlike other types of insurance policies, flood insurance coverage does not take effect immediately. Coverage from the NCIP is considered active fifteen days after the policy is approved, and coverage from the NFIP is not active until a full thirty days have passed. While it is not likely that flooding would occur in that short a time frame, Merced already has a history of beating the odds. Erring on the side of caution will prevent financial headaches and provide peace of mind.
Property owners in Merced, California are fortunate to have two solid options for flood insurance coverage. Investing a small amount of time now will ensure that adequate coverage is obtained, and that should another flood affect the city, financial protection will be in place to take care of damage-related costs. Contact us now for more information about the Merced California flood insurance.
All information is general in nature and is intended to provide guidance only. It is up to you to request specific coverage options, the agency and agent do not bear this responsibility. Always read the policy if there is a questions about coverage or a claim. If any information herein should conflict with your actual policy’s specific language, the policy language will be controlling.