Saturday, November 10, 2012

Find Out More About California Flood Insurance Requirements

By Madeline Finch

Flooding is often the result of adverse weather conditions that are out-with your control. When you add in all the other causes for damage, excess water damage is becoming a common occurrence throughout many states in the USA. California government stipulates that residential and business premises situated within a high-risk area must comply with the California flood insurance requirements.

Flooding is not the only identified cause of water damage. Properties in both high and low risk areas are subject to other unexpected and unwanted events that occur. In view of the unpredictable nature of such events, adequate insurance cover for water damage is recommended on all properties.

Congress voted that the set up of a fair compensation program to assist individuals and communities to access affordable flood cover would benefit all concerned. The Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA for short, was tasked with developing a National Flood Insurance Program or NFIP for short. Their role would be to partner with communities to implement and improve their flood prevention measures and provide insurance for community members.

The NFIP is available to individuals in both high and low risk areas, dependant on certain conditions. The person seeking adequate cover against flooding has to be resident or own the property within a community that has signed up for the NFIP. Those who do not meet this condition will be unable to obtain NFIP cover for their property, unless they find a new provider.

Residents and property owners that are situated in an NFIP community may have seen a rise in their local taxes to implement new flood prevention measures in their area. Communities that do join, will have to be prepared to invest funds and make a commitment to making the necessary changes. The level of commitment and funding required will be determined by the level of risk the community faces from flooding. Individual property owners can press their community representatives to explore membership of the NFIP.

Anyone who waits for weather warnings before taking out adequate cover may well find they have left it too late. A policy with the NFIP scheme will not come into force until 30-days after the purchase date. The best course of action is to include the premiums in your annual budget. That way you can ensure you have continuous cover each year.

Property owners and residents should also keep in mind that water damage can be caused by any number of unexpected events. Severe cold weather or excessive rain fall can result in damage from frozen and burst pipes. Accidental damage or corrosion of water mains and pipes are also common causes of water damage to properties.

The NFIP scheme is designed to ensure that the California flood insurance requirements are met within a community. Anyone buying or selling property, especially in a high risk area, may find that lenders will look favourably on loan applications if that type of cover is in place. It is important for owners and renters of property to note that a general building and contents policy will not cover flood damage.

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