Palo Alto California Flood Insurance

Palo Alto California Flood Insurance

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Palo Alto, California, like many other cities in the Silicon Valley, is home to institutes of higher learning, numerous tech companies, and a well-educated workforce. But unlike other similar locales, the city has one additional label: it is considered to be one of the most expensive places to live in the United States. While this is good for future residents to know before they move to the area and even a nice piece of trivia to know for game night, it’s also an important fact to know when discussing the topic of flood insurance.

 

Property owners in Palo Alto may be interested to know that their standard homeowners or business insurance policies will not cover damages related to naturally occurring floods. Without the coverage provided by a flood insurance policy, the property owner is left to pay any and all damage-related costs out-of-pocket. This is a financial nightmare for any flood victim, but especially for individuals living in an area as expensive as Palo Alto. Damages for a single flood event can easily cost an individual tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Now, the climate of Palo Alto, California may lead some to question the need for flood insurance at all. With many cities taking precautions to construct elaborate drainage systems and levees, it would seem that the average sixteen inches of rain the city receives each year would be easily handled and not be cause for a significant flood risk. The fact of the matter is that while the system can easily handle a typical year of precipitation, not every year is typical and unusual weather patterns can quickly drop enough rain to inundate the system. For instance- El Niño related storms can drop larger-than-normal amounts of water, as could low pressure systems that infrequently affect the area.

Features of the NFIP
  • Government-funded
  • Offered through local, regional, and national insurance agencies
  • Requires Base Elevation Certificate
  • Policy activated thirty days after approval

 

Features of the NCIP
  • Underwritten by private insurers.
  • Currently offered in a select number of states, including California.
  • No Base Elevation Certificate required
  • Policy activated fifteen days after approval

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) collects both statistical and hydrological data to determine the average number of times an area is likely to flood during a given time. Areas that have a one-in-four chance of flooding during a thirty year period are called Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA). Palo Alto does not have a significant amount of SFHA designations, but they are present within city limits, and property owners in these areas should take the designation seriously. Additionally, residents outside the SFHA should remember that just because they are at lower risk for flooding does not mean they are at no risk for flooding. These properties can and should be covered by flood insurance policies as well.

To obtain financial protection from flood-related damages, property owners in Palo Alto should look into the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or the National Catastrophe Flood Insurance Program (NCIP) and determine which will best meet their needs. The size, type, and value of a structure will affect the amount and type of coverage needed, as well as the policy premiums.

Palo Alto, California is one of the many thriving communities in the Golden State, but this does not make it immune to the patterns of nature. Flooding can and will occur in the city at some time, and property owners who prepare now and protect themselves financially by obtaining a flood insurance policy will be provided with peace of mind, knowing that they are covered when a flood does occur. Contact us now for more information about the Palo Alto California flood insurance.

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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.

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