Flood Insurance Rises In Sacramento

September 27, 2005

Flood insurance purchases are picking up in California’s Central Valley. While Sacramento doesn’t face the threat of hurricanes, it is a community protected by a dam and miles of aging levees. Communities throughout the Central Valley are in similar predicaments as those hit by Hurricane Katrina.

Many of those affected by flooding along the Gulf Coast didn’t have flood insurance and now face the grim task of rebuilding.

“It really has me thinking what if it happened here,” said Joanna Bergez, 60, of Sacramento, an American Red Cross volunteer. She recently called her insurance agent to discuss flood insurance rates.

“There’s been a definite spike in the phone calls and e-mails for quotes for flood insurance,” said Jeff Hinesly, flood products manager for Farmers Insurance in Los Angeles, noting that inquiries are on the rise not just in Northern California but across the state and nation. “People are concerned. They want it now.”

Jeanne Mattes, a Sacramento insurance agent with John O. Bronson Co., is seeing the same level of increased interest.

“I wrote four new flood policies today,” Mattes said last week. “It’s really starting to heat up.”

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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