Why You Need Flood Insurance

Why You Need Flood Insurance

It’s no secret that spring storms can bring heavy rainfall in short amounts of time. This not only can cause rivers and lakes to rise outside their banks, but it can also cause flooding in city streets and near homes.

Contrary to what many may think is covered under their insurance policy, a Home or Renter’s insurance policy will not cover a flood. If you live in an area prone to flooding, you need to also purchase flood insurance. Floods are one of the most dangerous disasters in the United States, and if you don’t purchase flood insurance, they can cost you big time. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) estimates that just one inch of water in a 2,000 square foot house will result in $23,000 in damage.

Flood season has arrived. Here are five reasons you need flood insurance now:

1. It’s not just for homeowners and businesses.
Flood coverage is available for renters. Condo owners can also purchase it. It will cover damage to your possessions from a flood.

2. Flooding is not covered under your standard policy.
Homeowners and renters need to purchase separate flood policies. Umbrella insurance does not usually cover flooding, either.

3. Floods aren’t limited to flood plains.
Every state has experienced flooding, and it can happen anywhere. The NFIP estimates that 25 percent of flood claims come from areas outside of high-risk flood zones.

4. Flood insurance doesn’t take effect immediately.
There is a 30-day waiting period from the date you purchase the insurance until you are covered, in most cases.

5. It’s often not as expensive as you think.
The average policy costs about $700 per year. The higher your risk, the higher your premium. Costs do vary depending on your flood risk and the year and type of construction. Keep in mind, the average residential flood claim amounted to more than $38,000.

Don’t delay, there is a 30-day waiting period before flood coverage goes into effect. Call a California Casualty advisor today at 1.877.652.2638 to make sure you’re covered. Or, contact our Agency Services department at agencyservices@calcas.com.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

Soaking up Seven Myths about Flood Insurance


If you live in a flood prone area, you should have flood insurance. It seems like common sense but many of us still don’t get it. As rivers crested to new heights and raging waters destroyed homes in Central and Southern Texas this spring, the Insurance Council of Texas fears that less than half of those with damage purchased a flood policy. Many thousands affected by record flooding in South Carolina may also be without flood insurance; state insurance companies estimate that only 10% of residents purchased flood protection.

Here are some reasons why people don’t buy flood insurance:

  1. They think their homeowners or renters insurance covers flooding
  2. They think the government will help them
  3. They think it’s too expensive
  4. They didn’t know it was available

Floods are the number one disaster in the United States and the National Flood Insurance Program estimates that just three inches of water in a 2,000 square foot house will result in $23,000 in damage.

With that in mind, let’s soak up seven myths that might be floating around about flood insurance.

  1. Flooding is covered under most homeowners insurance.

It is not. Homeowners and renters need to purchase separate flood insurance protection. Umbrella insurance does not usually cover flooding.

  1. I don’t live in a flood prone area so I don’t need it.

Every state in the union has experienced flooding and it can happen anywhere. The National Flood Insurance Program estimates that 25 percent of flood claims come from areas outside of high-risk flood zones.

  1. The Federal Government will help pay for flood damage.

Federal disaster assistance is only available when the president formally declares a disaster. The aid comes as low interest loans, not compensation for your damage.

  1. Flood insurance is only for homeowners and businesses.

Flood insurance is available to renters. It is also available to condo owners and renters. It will cover damage to your possessions from a flood.

  1. Flood Insurance is expensive.

The average policy costs about $700 per year: the higher your risk, the higher your premium. Keep in mind the average residential flood claim amounted to more than $38,000.

  1. I can get flood insurance coverage immediately.

In most cases there is a 30 day waiting period from the date you purchase the insurance before it goes into effect.

  1. I can shop around for the best flood insurance deal.

While you can purchase flood insurance from numerous companies, the price is set by the federal government and doesn’t vary. Rates do vary depending on your flood risk and the year and type of construction.


If you have experienced flood damage, here are some things you should be doing:

  • Make sure the building is safe to enter – mud and water may contain dangerous chemicals, bacteria or poisonous snakes and there could be a risk from electrocution
  • Secure the property from further damage or theft with plywood, tarps or plastic
  • Remove branches and other debris
  • Before cleanup, take photos or videos of all the damage
  • Throw out water damaged food including canned goods
  • Keep receipts for any items you buy to make temporary repairs and for living expenses, they may be covered if your loss is insured or can be used for tax purposes if the loss is not covered
  • Contact your insurance company – flooding and other water damage to your vehicle is covered if you have comprehensive auto insurance


For more information about what is and is not covered with flood insurance, visit https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/residential_coverage/whats_covered.jsp.


California Casualty can help keep you above water with flood insurance. Find out more today at 877.652.2638 or visit www.calcas.com/flood-insurance. Make sure your property is fully protected from wind, fire, lightning, hail or falling trees with a policy review by calling an advisor today at 1.800.800.9410 or visiting www.calcas.com.


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What You Need to Know About Flood Insurance

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many homeowners are dealing with Flooding damages.

We wanted to provide you with some basic Flood Insurance information* so you can be sure you are fully protected:

  1. Standard homeowners insurance does NOT cover flooding: Your homeowners insurance policy will not cover flooding damage. Only Flood Insurance covers this kind of damage. To learn more about Flood Insurance through California Casualty, click here or scroll down to read more.
  2. Flood damages are expensive: Just two inches of water could result in more than $7,000 in damages. The higher the water, the higher the costs.
  3. New Policies take 30 days to kick in: If your home is at any risk of flooding, protect it now. Flood insurance policies take 30 days to take effect.
  4. Flood insurance offers two types of protection: Flood insurance protects your building and the contents inside of the building. Neither type protects the land they occupy. 
    1. Building Coverage includes:
      1. The insured building and its foundation
      2. The electrical and plumbing systems
      3. Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters
      4. Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
      5. Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished floors
    2. Contents coverage includes:
      1. Clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment
      2. Curtains
      3. Portable and window air conditioner units
      4. Portable microwaves and dishwashers
      5. Carpeting that is not already included in property coverage
      6. Clothing washers and dryers

Securing Flood Insurance through California Casualty: 

We provide flood insurance through  the National Flood Insurance Program to offer you the best rates and service. It was created by Congress in 1968 to help property owners protect themselves financially against flood damages. To learn about the program, click here.

*These represent typical coverages, you should speak with an agent to verify what is and is not covered


Flood Insurance is Crucial

This has been a difficult spring in terms of natural disasters – from devastating tornadoes to a large number of hail storms. Currently, we’re watching towns in the south being submerged under water, and rivers in flood stages that haven’t been seen in recent history.

Our hearts go out these families, and you can rest assured that we are doing everything we can to help our customers who have been affected by all of these disasters. For many, seeing the flooding (and with hurricane season bearing down on us) begs the question – “Am I covered if this happens to me?” This press release just came across my desk, and hopefully it will answer some of those questions.

CHICAGO—With hurricane season starting on June 1st, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) urges homeowners, business owners and renters who do not currently have flood insurance to buy it right away.

“Many insurance consumers do not realize that their standard homeowners policy does not cover flooding, and that flood insurance must be purchased separately,” said Don Griffin, PCI’s vice president, personal lines. “Flood insurance is sold through agents who sell policies on behalf of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). If you have only a standard homeowners policy and suffer flooding from a hurricane, the flood damage will not be covered under that policy, so it is crucial to have flood insurance. Because NFIP policies don’t take effect for 30 days, the sooner people can buy flood insurance, the better.”

While having flood insurance in place is important in coastal areas, recent heavy rains have brought flooding to much of the nation’s heartland as well. Unfortunately, according to the NFIP, more than 50 percent of properties in high-risk areas remain unprotected by flood insurance, and in the northeast and Midwest, coverage rates are significantly lower. Even in coastal areas that live under constant threat of hurricanes or tropical storms, many homeowners or renters do not have this crucial coverage.

According to the NFIP, floods are the number-one natural disaster in the United States, and 75 percent of all federally declared disasters over the past five years have involved flooding. There is a 26 percent chance that a home will suffer flooding over the course of a 30-year mortgage, and U.S. flood losses have averaged $2.4 billion per year over the last decade.

“In any part of the country where flooding is a possibility, property owners and renters should absolutely make sure to protect themselves and their belongings by purchasing flood insurance,” Griffin said.

Individuals who currently have homeowners or renters insurance should talk to their agents to see if their insurers sell flood policies. They can also locate agents who sell flood policies through the agent locator on the NFIP website.

Home Warranty vs. Home Insurance

Home Warranty vs. Home Insurance

Understanding the difference between your home warranty and home insurance can save you from financial headaches when things go wrong at home. Let’s break down these two types of coverage to help you make informed decisions about protecting your property.

The Difference At-A-Glance

  • Home warranties cover repairs and replacements for certain systems and appliances in your home.
  • Home insurance covers property damage to your home, other structures, or belongings in the case of unexpected events like fires, hail, wind, vandalism, or theft.

Both come with limits on what they cover. Read on to find out more.

What You Need to Know About Home Warranties

The name, home warranty, can lead you to believe that this protection covers your home. That’s not exactly the case. Home warranties cover the major appliances and systems in your house.

  • When you might purchase a home warranty

Home warranties are generally offered when you purchase a new appliance or system. Examples include washers, dryers, refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, and garage door openers. You also may have a home warranty for electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling systems. In case one of these “big ticket” purchases malfunctions, you can avoid a major out-of-pocket expense. The home warranty kicks in after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.

You can also buy a home warranty at any time directly from a home warranty company. Sometimes home warranties are offered as part of real estate transactions as an incentive to close the deal. Such warranties offer peace of mind for the future homeowner.

  • What your home warranty covers

Home warranties usually cover service, repair, and replacement of a product for a covered problem and everyday wear and tear.

  • What your home warranty doesn’t cover

Your policy might deny coverage if you have not been keeping up with maintenance. They also could deny coverage for improper installation or modifications, pest damage, or pre-existing conditions. Check your warranty policy for the details of what may be excluded from coverage.

  • How coverage works

You file a claim. The warranty company connects you with an approved contractor to perform the repair. A technician visits your home to diagnose the appliance or the system, and to recommend a repair or replacement. There may be a service fee associated with this visit. If the repair is simple, the technician can do it the same day. If a replacement is needed or a part must be ordered, then a follow-up appointment is scheduled.

  • When seeking a home warranty, be an informed consumer:
    • Take an inventory of your large home appliances and systems. Write down their age and condition. Record the last time they were serviced.
    • Estimate how much it will cost you to replace those systems. If you can afford to replace them without help, you do not need a home warranty.
    • Consider a home inspection. This will document any pre-existing conditions that will not be covered by a warranty.
    • Research coverages and payment amounts. Read the fine print. Many companies limit the amount that they will pay, and it may only be a portion of the appliance or system.
    • Check that the company you choose is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.

What You Need to Know About Home Insurance

A homeowner’s policy is a “package” of coverages. It protects your home and personal property from specific events that can damage them and provides additional living expenses if you are unable to live there due to an insured loss. In addition, your homeowner’s policy covers you for lawsuits or liability claims that might otherwise be your responsibility if you accidentally injure other people or damage their property.

  • When you might purchase home insurance:

You will purchase home insurance when you buy your home. If you have a home mortgage, then maintaining homeowner’s insurance is generally a requirement of your loan agreement. Even if you own your home outright, it’s recommended that you protect your equity in the home by maintaining homeowner’s insurance.

  • What your home insurance covers and doesn’t cover:

Following are highlights of what your home insurance policy covers and doesn’t cover. For details on these and other coverages, see our blog on Home Insurance 101.

    • Dwelling coverage refers to the structure of your home: the roof, walls, floorboards, cabinets, and bath fixtures. A loss is covered unless it’s excluded by your policy.
    • Other structures insurance covers pools, fences, gazebos, sheds, etc. A loss is covered unless it’s excluded by your policy.
    • Personal property coverage protects your possessions, such as furniture, clothes, sports equipment, and other personal items. If your possessions are stolen, or damaged by fire/smoke or any of 16 covered “perils,” your policy will pay for them subject to your deductible.
    • If your home is damaged in a covered loss, it may not be livable. If that’s the case, you would need to stay somewhere else. Loss of Use, also called Additional Living Expense, covers you for any necessary increase in living expenses, such as lodging, food, and gas.
    • Personal Liability protects you if a claim is made or a suit brought against you for bodily injury or property damage caused by an occurrence to which coverage applies. Liability covers you at your place or anywhere in the world.
    • If you are not liable, but your guest was injured through his/her own fault, then Coverage F – Medical Payment to Others may cover your guest’s medical bills.
  • How coverage works:

You file a claim. You’ll fill out the necessary paperwork online or by email. For a homeowner’s or personal property claim, you will need to provide a Proof of Loss statement. That’s a list of items that were damaged or stolen and how much it costs to replace them. You may have to get a repair estimate and include that information. Then, you’ll wait for approval. Once the repair is authorized, you’ll be able proceed. Either you or the contractor will receive payment from the insurance company, so check with your adjuster. You will be responsible for the deductible amount, the amount that you will pay out-of-pocket before insurance kicks in.

  • When seeking home insurance, be an informed consumer:

 Estimate how much it would cost to rebuild your home from scratch in your current location. Also ballpark the cost to replace all your personal property. This will give you a starting point as to how much insurance you will need.

 Determine if you will need specialized coverage beyond a standard homeowner’s policy. For example, you may want flood or earthquake coverage for your location.

      • Shop around for insurance, and keep in mind, that it usually pays to buy home and auto coverage from the same company. When you bundle your home and auto insurance, you can often qualify for reduced rates, saving hundreds of dollars.
      • Ask about discounts. You may qualify for insurance discounts for being part of a professional association, such as groups for teachers, nurses or first responders. There are also discounts for being retired, for paying via automatic bank payments, and for paying in full upfront.
      • Check that the insurance company you choose is in good standing with the Better Business Bureau.

This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

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