In Santa Clara County, whether you own a house or business, or rent, you can purchase flood insurance at a discounted rate from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program to protect your home from the hazards of flooding. When shopping for flood insurance, contact your insurance provider to ensure premiums include these discounts. Lenders are legally responsible for determining if flood insurance is required for a loan. Call 1-800-427-4661 or go online at www.floodsmart.gov to find a local agent. Typically, there’s a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect, so don’t wait until mid-winter.
Federal law requires flood insurance if you have a federally insured mortgage and your property is in an area shown on FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM), which are areas designated as being high risk for flooding during a 1 percent flood event, or a flood that has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year. While the chances may seem slim, the real odds of a 1 percent flood are greater than one in four during the term of a 30-year mortgage.
For more information on flood risks, interpreting the FEMA flood maps, flood insurance or an elevation certificate for your property, contact your city’s floodplain manager.
The water district can also assist in providing information. Contact the Community Projects Review Unit at 408-630-2650.