Do you live in Sacramento?

.. and if so, do you have flood insurance?

From today’s local Sacramento Bee, regarding Hurricane Katrina:

Homeowners insurance will cover the cost of household damage caused by Katrina’s high winds and any related water damage as a result of the winds. But for homeowners whose loss is from flooding caused by levee breaches, they’re covered only if they bought national flood insurance.

Hartwig said that in New Orleans, only about one in four homeowners had national flood insurance, coverage offered only by FEMA through policy riders sold by all insurance agents.

New Orleans is admittedly below sea level. The sea isn’t what got them; their lake did. Sacramento is in a similiar position; much of our water (the rivers) is higher above ground than we are. Notice those levees around the rivers? Those are above the level of many of our houses.

According to [ SAFCA], Sacramento’s flood protection is rated for 100 year floods now. (That is, there is a 1% chance any year of flooding now). Bad news: New Orleans was rated for 250 year flood protection.

Despite the lifting of this flood insurance requirement, the potential for a flood disaster remains an unpredictable threat to public safety. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) warns that over the life of a 30-year mortgage, property owners in areas like the American River floodplain can expect an approximately 26% chance of flooding.

Much of our land was recently declared to no longer required mandatory flood insurance. This does not mean cancel it! You can call and get a “Preferred Risk Policy” for about a third of the normal price. I believe I’m paying around $300 a year for mine.

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