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Bay Area Storms & Home Insurance Coverage


You have probably heard the old saying “When it rains, it pours”. That has certainly been true of recent Bay Area weather. For California residents, the new year brought in large storm systems being categorized from level 3 to level 5, which is unprecedented for the area. According to the California Nevada River Forecast Center, most cities in this region are getting 1-2 inches of rain on average in a 24-hour period.


The storm brought with it many other dangers such as high winds, flooding, fallen trees, landslides, and more. Freeways flooded, causing unsafe road conditions and leading to potential vehicle damage in flood zones. It also caused power outages, with the San Francisco Chronicle noting that over 100,000 people were without power throughout the state of California. Coastal areas have also experienced the added dangers of big waves and high tides.


Flooding, of course, can occur near bodies of water or anywhere across the state, leaving no one impervious to this threat. Weather warnings triggered evacuation orders for particularly vulnerable areas, such as Rio del Mar in Santa Cruz. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, residents were scrambling to safeguard their property, utilizing sandbags to protect against flooding. Still, both homes and businesses along the coast there experienced flooding.


As the storm subsides, restoration efforts will begin, but the rain is expected to linger in the coming days, which will make this more difficult. When the skies dry up and the sun comes out again, Bay Area residents will be left in the aftermath. Depending on location and how one’s home is situated, some will be facing more damage than others. The question is, once the damage is assessed, what will your home insurance actually cover?


Michael Finney from ABC 7 News notes that what is and isn’t covered can be complicated. Damage from trees that are downed due to high winds is covered. However, water is apparently not as straightforward. Finney shares that the standing rule is falling water is generally covered while rising water is not. What does that mean? Well, damage to your roof caused by falling rain, which has led to leaks for example, is probably covered. However, if your home experiences flooding, the chances are that the damage will not be covered by a standard insurance policy. You would need to have specific flood insurance coverage. If you don’t, you will be responsible for the cost of the repairs. And we haven’t even talked about mold.


If you live in an area that tends to flood in the rain, it is important to consider adding flood insurance to your home insurance policy. Also, talk to your insurance company about their coverage around mold, which is prevalent in flooded and damp areas. We haven’t seen the last of rain for this winter season, so make sure you are prepared and have proper home insurance coverage. If you need to switch or add coverage, Insuravita can help.

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