Record El Niño storm pattern expected to bring record claims

El Nino is expected to bring increased rainfall and flooding to California.

Experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have predicted that El Niño, the tropical climate pattern that has been responsible for various storm systems, will be affecting California and areas further east this spring. The NOAA also predicted a record-setting storm pattern of rain events and flooding.

California has been undergoing a serious drought since 2013, with many parts of the state experiencing record-low amounts of rainfall since then. While the increased rainfall from El Niño will be welcome by some, it’s worrying analysts who expect flooding and property damage. Many homes built during the drought period were supposedly built to withstand water intrusion, but with so little rain for the last three years, these structures have not yet been tested. Existing insurance policies may see claims of construction defects if these waterproofing measures don’t meet the challenge.

Increases in everything from general liability, property damage, landlord claims, auto claims, falling trees, falling structures and simple injury claims are expected to rise, among others. The flooding, leaking roofs and other types of water damages will affect residential and commercial property policies. The NOAA anticipates this increased rainfall will continue to occur in the western U.S. from March through May.

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