Hurricane Harvey highlights need for flood insurance in San Diego

Coast, valleys, canyons all susceptible to floods
Posted at 8:00 AM, Sep 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-04 11:07:57-04

Floods across Houston are showing San Diego homeowners that they may need to look into flood insurance, even if their mortgage doesn't require it.

Recent reports have shown that 80% of the people who's homes were damaged by Hurricane Harvey did not have flood insurance. And as many as 75% of them lived in areas outside of FEMA designated flood zones.

"It's not just Houston that get gets it, it could happen anywhere," says Rebecca Byrom, a San Diego insurance agent.

"It can be a financial burden and it's a pain to deal with. But when you need it, there's just no replacement for it," she says.

Byrom owns an insurance company that only sells flood insurance. She has several clients in Texas, and at least 30 have already filed claims with her related to Hurricane Harvey. She thinks everyone should look into getting it.

"Certainly the coastal areas," she says. "But also valleys, near canyons, streams, lakes. It all depends on the topography of where you live."

FEMA requires people who live in flood zones to have flood insurance, or the federal government won't back the mortgage. You can check their maps and search for your specific address here.

But even areas not marked on the maps can flood.

"California's not exempt," says Byrom. "We saw what happened when a lot of rain fell."

Bryom says people outside of flood plains can get coverage for as little as $500 a year, and that will guarantee up to $250,000 for building damage and $100,000 for damage to contents and personal belongings.