San Francisco, CA — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) targets the heavy El Niño winter rains for the rise in policies in the state.
FEMA reports that insurers have written more than 55,000 policies since August 2015, with more than 27,000 of those National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies written in December alone, totaling to a 25 percent increase. FEMA points to all the attention the El Niño winter has brought regarding possible heavy rains in California for the wave of buyers. However, other western states also affected by the weather pattern are not joining in the trend, according to agency officials, who add that this kind of surge has not been seen since Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program in 1968 through private insurers.
FEMA Region 9 Administrator Robert Fenton states, “FEMA recognizes that a government-centric approach to emergency management is not adequate to meet the challenges posed by a catastrophic incident. Utilizing a whole community approach to emergency management reinforces that FEMA is only one part of our nation’s emergency management team and individuals are arguably the most important part of that team.”
Although not all NFIP claims in California this year are attributed to El Niño, the agency notes that there already have been 127 claims submitted in January. A stark contrast to last year during the same time when there was only one made.