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What will insurance policies cover as life-threatening bomb cyclone, 'Pineapple Express' impacts California? – Fox Weather

Michael Barry, Chief Communications Officer at Insurance Information Institute, discusses what insurance policies will cover Californians from flooding and wind-caused damage as a bomb cyclone approaches. 
A powerful atmospheric river and bomb cyclone is drenching California with heavy rain and high wind. Some areas have been told to evacuate as California Gov. Gavin Newsom's office said the state's emergency operations center is at its highest level.
Residents have been told to prepare for the likelihood of widespread flooding from this storm, but it can be tricky to understand what your insurance covers during this type of weather event.
CALIFORNIA FACING LIFE-THREATENING DOUBLE WHAMMY OF BOMB CYCLONE, 'PINEAPPLE EXPRESS' STORM
CALIFORNIA, USA – DECEMBER 31: A view of flooding on the highway 92 West in Half Moon Bay as heavy rainstorm hits West Coast of California, United States on December 31, 2022.
(Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency / Getty Images)
Michael Barry, chief communications officer at the Insurance Information Institute, joined FOX Weather on Wednesday morning to explain what to expect if your home or property sustains damage as the Pineapple Express and bomb cyclone combo storm slams into the West Coast.
"You're looking in California over the next couple of days with both a wind event and a water event," Barry said. "So, when we're talking about wind, the standard homeowner's insurance policy, the standard renter's insurance policy, that's going to cover for wind."
For instance, he said, a tree falling on a home would be covered under a standard homeowner's insurance policy.
HOW TO PREPARE FOR CALIFORNIA'S BOMB CYCLONE, 'PINEAPPLE EXPRESS' STORM
There’s a specific atmospheric river setup where the jet stream will dip south into the tropical Pacific Ocean near Hawaii, pull in a bunch of warm, moist air and carry it to the north and east across the ocean. This is called a Pineapple Express due to the storm’s Hawaiian origins and the Aloha State’s penchant for pineapples.
It gets a little bit more complicated when flooding happens.
"(Flooding) is defined as water coming from the ground up," Barry said. "In an instance like that, if you want to be covered for flood-caused property damage, you need to buy a FEMA national flood insurance program policy or a flood insurance policy sold by a private insurer, in addition to the homeowner's insurance policy."
Barry said you should check your current policy and see if you need to obtain any additional coverage to protect you if your property sustains flood damage.
According to Barry, it may not take too long to get reimbursed from your insurance company if you have to file a flood insurance claim.
"The insurer responds very quickly," he said. "If it's a major event, this is their time to shine."
HERE'S WHAT TO DO AFTER YOUR CAR IS FLOODED
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – JANUARY 3: San Franciscans lined up with their cars and rush to get sandbags outside of the Department of Public Works (DPW) on January 3, 2023 ahead of tomorrow’s rainstorm in San Francisco, California, United States. (Photo by Tayfun CoÅkun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) ( )
Workers build a flood protection barrier at the entrance to a business in the Mission District of San Francisco, California, US, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. While California tries to clean up from floods and mudslides that killed at least one person over the weekend, the next in a series of atmospheric rivers is bearing down on the most populous US state for later this week. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)
Workers build a flood protection barrier at the entrance to a business in the Mission District of San Francisco, California, US, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. While California tries to clean up from floods and mudslides that killed at least one person over the weekend, the next in a series of atmospheric rivers is bearing down on the most populous US state for later this week. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)
Workers build a flood protection barrier at the entrance to a business in the Mission District of San Francisco, California, US, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. While California tries to clean up from floods and mudslides that killed at least one person over the weekend, the next in a series of atmospheric rivers is bearing down on the most populous US state for later this week. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)
A worker builds a flood protection barrier at the entrance to a business in the Mission District of San Francisco, California, US, on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023. While California tries to clean up from floods and mudslides that killed at least one person over the weekend, the next in a series of atmospheric rivers is bearing down on the most populous US state for later this week. (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)
FILE – A view of flooding on Highway 280 in Daily City as heavy rainstorm hits West Coast of California, United States on December 31, 2022. (Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency)
Flood insurance is required for people living in high-risk flood zones, and knowing what is and isn’t covered by insurance is important information you need to know.
Barry said you'll need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible if your property is damaged.
"They will then send an insurance adjuster out to your property to assess the damage and figure out exactly how much it's going to cost to repair or replace the damage," he said. "Because we're talking not only the structure, but you've insured the personal possessions at your home as well."
What happens if you lose everything? Barry said most policies will have a provision to help you get back on your feet.
"If things get very serious, if we're talking about a total loss, your standard homeowner's insurance policy also has, if you look at the policy on the declarations page, what's called a loss of use provision, which is basically going to help you pay for your basic living expenses if your home is made uninhabitable because of an insured event," Barry said.
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