Few in Calif. have flood insurance Do you have flood insurance? Most of California milk is not

More research is needed to determine the role of climate change in specific climates, but warmer air means more hurricanes like the ones that hit. California in recent weeks more water can be taken.

However California the drought has darkened people’s feelings about the danger of floods. People tend to buy insurance after accidents when the risk is visceral, he said Amy Bachmanaging director of the insurance sales group United Policyholders.

“People think that the only people who need flood insurance are people who live right on the beach or on the banks of a river that has a history of flooding,” Bach said. In fact, far more people are threatened by the jump or the height of the water.

When you buy a home, a title deed will be approved Federal Emergency Management maps tell you if you are in a flood risk zone. If so and you have a federally backed mortgage, you are required to purchase flood insurance that costs an average $950 year. Many banks also require it.

However FEMA maps are limited and only for specific flood types – they do not actually predict flood risk. Floods caused by heavy rains to restore storm drains are not counted, for example. The limits mean that flood risk is considered low in the country.

Special maps have a low chance of internal disturbances Californiaaccording to Matthew Ebydirector general of First Street Foundationa risk assessment organization.

Of the FEMA maps do not show the Starks’ mobile home in a high-risk area. And three years before his neighbor Juan Reyes bought his house, a series of storms dumped record rainfall on the state and flooded their neighborhood.

Reyes knew this, but he never bought flood insurance. It was too expensive, he said, and it was unnecessary. In addition, he thought that the local officials have improved the storm drain so that such a flood does not happen again. But it was done and Reyes had to be rescued by boat. He’s staying in the same place to save the Starks, hoping his house isn’t too bad.

The storms severely damaged thousands of homes, which need to be repaired before people can live in them again. But Nicholas Pintera professor at the University of California, Davisare studying water sources, saying that the state should be prepared for bigger events and that it requires more investment in flood protection and more awareness of the risk.

“It is worrisome how much damage there is as it was for severe but not catastrophic flooding,” he said.

State officials say that even when there are no floods, they try to help people pursue claims – flooded cars, for example, are sometimes covered under auto insurance.

Also trying to figure out how to fix it David January inside Merceda village of about 90,000 i California Central Valley it was badly flooded. The water was ankle high in his house. The laminate floor in her living room floated.

“It’s like you’re walking on a wave or a trampoline,” he said. The house smells like a mixture of dirt, rotting grass and an overflowing septic system.

Enero lives in a high risk area where people buy flood insurance. He said paying for such damages would be unimaginable. In retrospect, he wishes he had insured his belongings, too.

Although maps encourage people in some areas to buy advertising, FEMA his maps are no longer used to set prices.

The agency updated its value in 2021 to more accurately reflect risk and called it Risk Rating 2.0. FEMA said these reform values ​​- not flood maps – are what communicate flood risk to consumers. The old system was more defined by simple criteria: the height of the building and whether it was in a geographical flood zone. Hazard Rating 2.0 takes into account distance to water, damage caused by heavy rain and many other factors. It raises prices for about three-quarters of policyholders and offers price reductions for the first time.

But since the enactment of the new regulations brought in Californiathe number of policies has fallen by about 5%.

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