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Insurance Matters

Bruce Sackrison's Insurance Matters: Do you need flood insurance?

From the Bruce Sackrison's Insurance Matters series
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Bruce Sackrison

Bruce Sackrison is a Napa Valley Register columnist who will write about property and casualty insurance matters.

Do you own or rent a home? If so, flood insurance is a good idea.

You see, even if you have the best homeowners or renters insurance, those policies will not protect you from the possible hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage that a flood can cause.

Your homeowners or renters policy may cover water damage from broken water pipes or high winds with rain that manage to cause water damage to parts of your home, but as soon as that rain turns into flowing groundwater, you are out of luck.

Even one inch of water can cause over $20,000 worth of damage to your home, and your homeowner’s policy won’t be of any use to you!

The story of Eric and Jean

Eric and Jean married during their final year in college. They bought a small home in Napa Valley and settled in, feeling secure with their homeowner’s insurance policy.

The February after they moved in, there were several torrential rain storms. Eric and Jean happened to be spending some time out of the country at a relative’s wedding.

They returned home only to discover their home had sustained damage from local flooding. They learned the hard way that their homeowner’s insurance policy didn’t cover any of the water damage costs.

Thankfully, their home wasn’t in the worst area of flooding, but they still had to shell out nearly $6,000 in repairs and replacements. To avoid future losses, they discussed the best flood insurance options with their insurance agent, buying a policy that fit their needs.

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States. Each year, flooding costs an average of $10 billion in losses, with costs continually rising.

As a homeowner with a 30-year mortgage, you have a one in four chance of facing flood damage to your home. The cost of flood insurance is nothing compared to the nightmare of paying tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars out of pocket when your home gets flooded.

Keep in mind that flood insurance covers only the cost of flood damage inside your home. Any items you have outside will probably cost you out of pocket to replace or repair.

Your vehicle is also not covered by a flood insurance policy, so if you are in a high-risk area, you may want to get a comprehensive auto insurance policy on your vehicles.

Flood insurance can either be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private insurer.

If you need any help finding the best policy for your situation, just give me a call. I can help you find the best price and the right coverage for you and your home.

Bruce Sackrison is an insurance property and casualty broker affiliated with Professional Insurance Associates. He is at 707-931-0186 or

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