For immediate release
West Coast Press Office: Janet Ruiz, 707-490-9365, email@example.com
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 9, 2024—The Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I) is reminding homeowners, renters, businesses, and vehicle owners impacted by severe weather related to the West Coast Atmospheric River of what’s covered under standard insurance policies and how the insurance claim filing process works.
“The damages and devastation brought to millions of West Coast residents from severe rain and wind this week highlight the importance of being financially protected from catastrophic losses,” said Sean Kevelighan, CEO, Triple-I. “As financial first-responders, the insurance industry is actively working to help its customers in need of recovery.”
There are four keys to economic recovery after severe weather events, the Triple-I says.
1. Start the claims process as soon as possible
Be prepared to give your insurance professional—either an agent or an insurance company representative—a description of the damage to your property and a copy of your home inventory if you have one. Your insurance professional will report the loss immediately to your insurer or to a qualified adjuster.
Property damage to a home, a renter’s possessions, or a business – resulting from either a flood or mudflow – is covered under a flood insurance policy, which is typically separate from a property insurance policy for a home, rental unit, or a business. Flood policies are underwritten through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and private insurers.
Property damage to businesses caused by windstorms, hail, and lightning is typically covered under a Business Owners Policy (BOP) or through a Commercial Multiple Peril (CMP) policy. Business income (interruption) insurance is an optional coverage that can be included in either a BOP or CMP. It provides coverage if the business’ structure was directly damaged by wind, hail, or lightning for:
3. Review Your Additional Living Expenses (ALE) coverage
ALE, also known as Loss of Use, pays the additional costs of living away from home if you cannot live there either due to a mandatory evacuation or because of damage to your home from an insured catastrophe. It is a standard coverage in homeowners and renters insurance policies but ALE is not incorporated into FEMA NFIP policies. However, it may be included in some private flood policies.
4. Make Sure You Have Comprehensive Coverage for Your Vehicle
Vehicles damaged by either floodwaters or debris, such as falling trees, are covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy. Nearly 80 percent of U.S. drivers purchase comprehensive coverage when buying an auto policy.
Facts & Statistics: Flood Insurance