Flood Insurance with El Niño — Why You Need It


In our drought-plagued state, rain is something of a novelty; out come the coats, scarves and boots as we enthusiastically embrace the “winter season.” The ideal of rain aligns with scampering through puddles, the kids twirling under the droplets with umbrellas; curling up by the fire with a good book and a cup of coffee as the rain patters on the roof.

As lovely as these images are, El Niño brings another dimension to the winter months of December and January. Southern California hasn’t experienced El Niño since 1997; the conditions of which led to more than $30 billion in damages worldwide. This El Niño in particular is forecasted to feature the strongest storms ever recorded.

Already, we have witnessed the drastic effects of tempestuous storms on our lives in the mudslide on California 58 east of Tehachapi. On October 16, following a torrential downpour, nearly twenty feet of mud and other debris engulfed 158 vehicles. Initially, the hail and pouring rain limited visibility. The rising water level caused cars and trucks to float and drift together. When the mudslide began a mix of trucks, vehicles, and trailers (some with horses and livestock) were trapped. Some drivers chose to stay in their vehicles; others ventured into the mud, covered head to toe, and gripping their belongings. Over the next twenty-four hours 200 travelers were transported to shelters nearby, with no serious injuries. Even after the storm passed, the remnants of the mudslide took days to cleanup. The intensity and unpredictability of this occurrence may serve as a warning to take preventative measures toward protecting yourself and your assets, specifically your home.

The California Department of Insurance advises California homeowners to look into protecting their property; homeowner’s insurance does not typically include flood insurance, and flood insurance must be in effect at least 30 days before it goes into effect. The Commissioner stated:

“Flood insurance may be all that stands between you and devastating financial losses…I’m concerned that the above average temperatures we have seen this fall could lull consumers into a false sense of security and that is dangerous. California has seen historic floods caused by devastating El Niño-driven storms in the 1980s and ’90s. Heed the warnings and take steps to protect yourself.”

As an auxiliary precaution, take a home inventory and document your belongings to store in a digital cloud. Scan all important documents (deed, insurance policy, etc…) into the cloud too.

Do you have questions regarding homeowner’s insurance and flood insurance? BMR wants you and your family to be as prepared and covered as El Nino storms approach. Call us at 714.838.1911 for a free quote.

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