The private flood insurance market is getting a huge paradigm shift in the next month. Assurant, Inc. reported that starting May 1st, they will no longer offer private primary flood insurance for residential properties.

Let's talk about this change, its impacts on more than 1000 policyholders, and what you can do to adapt to this change.

             Assurant Flood Insurance

Recently, we received important information regarding private primary flood insurance policies and one of the leading insurance options, Assurant Incorporated.

According to the carrier, they will discontinue providing primary flood insurance for new business policies starting on May 1st, 2022. This will impact all residential flood insurance across the country and will be experiencing this change.

Now, an important note here is if you have an active policy, you will be able to get coverage from it until it expires. However, people who are looking to buy residential flood insurance (called "new business") won't be able to get a policy from Assurant Inc for primary private flood insurance.

There will also be no renewals after July 1st, 2022. This is what we call a nonrenewal of flood insurance. Although the reasons for this change are something yet that we will have to find out, these changes are happening on the dates mentioned.

Keep in mind that this won't be impacting private commercial flood insurance, NFIP policies, and excess flood insurance with Assurant. This change is directly impacting only primary residential flood policies with the carrier.

What Happens Next?

All policyholders and agents will receive a non-renewal notice between 60 to 83 days from renewal or the expiration date of your current policy. This notice is expected to arrive via mail and servers as a heads up for you.

It's important to mention however that during this period, Assurant Inc. won't be leaving without any help. One of the great things about flood insurance the carrier is that they don't leave you behind. Once the nonrenewal mail is sent, Assurant will also provide a federal flood insurance or National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) quotes will be provided via email to those who are impacted by this.

This is simply to ensure that you will have someplace to fall back on once that nonrenewal kicks in. It's important to note however that even if you accept this quote, you will still need to follow the 30-day waiting period from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the NFIP.

If you want to see the list of the policies that are nonrenewing, you will have to contact an Assurant representative or coordinate with your insurance agent in doing so.

Now, let's talk about your options from both the federal government and other private insurance companies to adapt to this change.

Federal Flood Insurance

One of the key takeaways we got from this notice is that Assurant will be providing an NFIP policy if you have a residential property impacted by this nonrenewal.

It's important to mention here certain terms that you need to expect when moving from a private flood insurance policy to an NFIP one.

The NFIP policy, as mentioned before, will have to follow the 30-day waiting period as part of the term when purchasing flood insurance from the federal government. Despite Assurant's endorsement of your policy to be moved to the NFIP, this waiting period will still kick in.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) recently completely moved into the Risk Rating 2.0. The Risk Rating 2.0 will still follow the standard flood insurance coverage that you normally get with the NFIP's residential policies. This simply means that you will only get up to $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 for content coverage.

This also means that your policy will be rated according to FEMA's Risk Rating 2.0 method which removes the flood zone as a basis for rates to acknowledge more on your property's flood data such as the history of flood damage, flood claims variable, type of floods that the property experiences, frequency of flooding, first-floor height, foundation type, and construction. This could very well mean that your flood policy will find a significant increase as we've seen with Risk Rating 2.0's impact across the country.

So these are some things that are going to really significantly change when it comes to your flood insurance especially when it comes to your rates. 

 One Private Insurer to Another

Now, it's important to also mention here that you can also go to another private insurance company, especially if the coverages that the NFIP is offering are not really enough. We do encourage that you get at least 80% of your property covered by flood insurance.

 

You can get a quote from your flood insurance agent from other private carriers. Again, it's essential to always set your expectations right. If you have a relatively cheap flood insurance premium with Assurant, it helps to set an expectation that this may not be the same.

Going through a private carrier means that there will be different flood coverage limits. This means that you won't really max out your coverage for building and personal property at $250,000 and $100,000 respectively.

Most private carriers also have an established system that determines your rate based on the risk of flooding that your property may have.

It's important to note however that depending on your loan type on your house, private flood insurance might not be available for you.

 

If you want to learn more about flooding and flood insurance visit our learning center below.

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The private flood insurance market is getting a huge paradigm shift in the next month. Assurant, Inc. reported that starting May 1st, they will no longer offer private primary flood insurance for residential properties.

Assurant Non-Renewing Their Private Residential Flood Policies

Let's talk about this change, its impacts on more than 1000 policyholders, and what you can do to adapt to this change.

Assurant Flood Insurance

Recently, we received important information regarding private primary flood insurance policies and one of the leading insurance options, Assurant Incorporated.

According to the carrier, they will discontinue providing primary flood insurance for new business policies starting on May 1st, 2022. This will impact all residential flood insurance across the country and will be experiencing this change.

Assurant Non-Renewing Their Private Residential Flood Policies

Now, an important note here is if you have an active policy, you will be able to get coverage from it until it expires. However, people who are looking to buy residential flood insurance (called "new business") won't be able to get a policy from Assurant Inc. for primary private flood insurance.

There will also be no renewals after July 1st, 2022. This is what we call a nonrenewal of flood insurance. Although the reasons for this change are something yet that we will have to find out, these changes are happening on the dates mentioned.

Keep in mind that this won't be impacting private commercial flood insurance, NFIP policies, and excess flood insurance with Assurant. This change is directly impacting only primary residential flood policies with the carrier.

What Happens

All policyholders and agents will receive a non-renewal notice between 83 to 60 days from renewal or the expiration date of your current policy. This notice is expected to arrive via mail and serves as a heads up for you.

It's important to mention however that during this period, Assurant Inc. won't be leaving without any help. One of the great things about flood insurance the carrier is that they don't leave you behind.

Once the nonrenewal mail is sent, Assurant will also send a federal flood insurance or National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) quotes will be provided via email to those who are impacted by this.

Assurant Non-Renewing Their Private Residential Flood Policies

This is simply to ensure that you will have someplace to fall back on once that nonrenewal kicks in. It's important to note however that even if you accept this quote, you will still need to follow the 30-day waiting period from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the NFIP.

If you want to see the list of the policies that are nonrenewing, you will have to contact an Assurant representative or coordinate with your insurance agent in doing so.

Now, let's talk about your options from both the federal government and other private insurance companies to adapt to this change.

Assurant Non-Renewing Their Private Residential Flood Policies

Federal Flood Insurance

One of the key takeaways we got from this notice is that Assurant will be providing an NFIP policy if you have a residential property impacted by this nonrenewal.

It's important to mention here certain terms that you need to expect when moving from a private flood insurance policy to an NFIP one.

The NFIP policy, as mentioned before, will have to follow the 30-day waiting period as part of the term when purchasing flood insurance from the federal government. Despite Assurant's endorsement of your policy to be moved to the NFIP, this waiting period will still kick in.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) recently completely moved into the Risk Rating 2.0. The Risk Rating 2.0 will still follow the standard flood insurance coverage that you normally get with the NFIP's residential policies. This simply means that you will only get up to $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 for content coverage.

This also means that your policy will be rated according to FEMA's Risk Rating 2.0 method which removes the flood zone as a basis for rates to acknowledge more on your property's flood data such as the history of flood damage, flood claims variable, type of floods that the property experiences, frequency of flooding, first-floor height, foundation type, and construction. This could very well mean that your flood policy will find a significant increase as we've seen with Risk Rating 2.0's impact across the country.

So these are some things that are going to really significantly change when it comes to your flood insurance especially when it comes to your rates. 

From One Private Insurer to Another

Now, it's important to also mention here that you can also go to another private insurance company, especially if the coverages that the NFIP is offering are not really enough. We do encourage that you get at least 80% of your property covered by flood insurance.

You can get a quote from your flood insurance agent from other private carriers. Again, it's essential to always set your expectations right. If you have a relatively cheap flood insurance premium with Assurant, it helps to set an expectation that this may not be the same.

Going through a private carrier means that there will be no flood coverage limits. This means that you won't really max out your coverage for building and personal property at $250,000 and $100,000 respectively.

Most private carriers also have an established system that determines your rate based on the risk of flooding that your property may have.

It's important to note however that depending on your loan type on your house, private flood insurance might not be available for you.

If you want to know your flood insurance options, click below to call us.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

When it comes to these situations, policyholders should always expect changes to their flood insurance. Just like the behavior of flooding drastically changes, so will flood insurance policies too.

So, if you've got any questions related to flood insurance, your flood insurance options, or how to manage your flood policy best, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center.

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We recently recognized the award winners for best private commercial flood companies in 2022. Now it's time to look at the residential side. We are going to look at some similar factors in determining the winners.

Let's define residential private flood insurance real quick. When we discuss residential private flood insurance we are generally talking about single-family homes and individual condo units.

There was a time when the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was the only option for flood insurance. However, Private Flood Insurance has started to change this market over the last 20 years. The FDIC ruling in 2019 about private flood insurance being accepted has helped push this movement forward.

So now let's get into how this award was determined and the winners.

We reviewed more than 25 different companies. Here are the factors that we used in determining the winners:

  • Coverage limits
  • Availability to property owners
  • Properties with previous claims
  • Long-term rate stability
  • Ease of use
  • Claims experience

So let's look at the winners in no specific order. Neptune Flood, Sterling Underwriters, and The Flood Insurance Agency

Neptune Flood

Since its creation in 2016  Neptune flood has become popular extremely quickly for many reasons. One reason is the way they use technology. You could go get a quote on their platform in less than 2 minutes.

I bet you think that's great but will I get the coverages I need?

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

      Coverage Limits

Neptune system can offer to cover up to $4 million on residential buildings in many situations. Unlike the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), they can also offer replacements costs on contents coverage. Also unlike the NFIP, they offer additional living expenses.

One of the great benefits of Neptune Flood is they can over basement content coverages in many situations. This has historically been a struggle with getting a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program.

       Access

What about access to property owners? The great news is you can access Neptune flood through a traditional insurance agent or directly through the Neptune website. The availability of getting flood insurance has become a big discussion over the last couple of years and Neptune currently offers coverage across the United States.

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

       Previous Claims

There is this myth in the private flood insurance industry that private companies will not insure a property that has had previous losses. Not sure where this crazy idea came from but it simply isn't true. Generally, Neptune Flood can insure a property if it has had one claim under $25,000. 

       Claims Experience

We have been helping file flood claims with Neptune flood since 2018. In almost every situation we have seen a quicker payout and response than the NFIP.

We have continued to see this be consistent during the New York flood of 2021, multiple flood events in Alabama from 2018 to 2022, the Nashville flooding in 2021, and the North Georgia flooding in 2021.

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

So now let's move on to the next winner, Sterling Underwriters

Sterling Underwriters

Sterling Underwriters is a unique flood company to work with because of their response time. Over the last four years, they have shown one of the quickest response times on flood questions.

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

       Coverages

Like other private flood insurance companies, they also offer coverages that exceed the $250,000 that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers. They also offer additional living expenses like many of the private flood insurance companies.

       Availability

To get access to Sterling Underwriters, you do have to access them through an insurance agent. Where Sterling separates itself is with its online quoting platform. While this program does have to be accessed by an insurance agent that agent can typically have an option in less than 5 minutes.

Sterling offers coverage throughout the United States. One thing that it offers that other private flood insurance companies do not offer is coverage in CBRA.

There are very few companies that offer coverage in these protected areas. The National Flood Insurance Program does not offer coverage in these areas if a structure was built or improved after 1982. 

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

       Rate Stability

In dealing with Sterling Underwriters for the last four years we have seen extremely stable rates. Does this mean your rate will not go up? No, but it does mean their rates seem to be more stable than the industry average. It's always important to work with a company that can create what we call long-term rate stability this means they are analyzing the risk properly which creates a consistent premium for more than 12 months. 

       Claims Experience

Like many private companies, Sterling Underwriters will consider a property with a flood loss. We have seen great claims experience from Sterling Underwriters. The response time has been accurate and so has the payout. One thing we have also seen from them that we haven't seen from many private flood insurance companies is to continue to insure a property after a claim.

It has become known in the insurance industry that after a flood insurance claim you can expect a nonrenewal letter from the private flood insurance company. 

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

However, this has not been the case in many situations with Sterling Underwriters. In fact, after the recent flooding in Pelham Alabama, we expected all these policies to be non-renewed because of claims and that did not happen. 

Now let's discuss the last winner on the list and that is The Flood Insurance Agency.

The Flood Insurance Agency

The Flood Insurance Agency is based in Gainsville Florida and is associated with Lexington Insurance a member of AIG. 

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

       Coverage Limits

Like the other companies on this list, The Flood Insurance Agency offers coverages over the standard $250,000. They also offer excess coverage on top of the National Flood Insurance Program. They can also offer contents coverage that exceeds the limits the National Flood Insurance Program offers. 

Availability

The Flood Insurance Agency offers coverage throughout the United States. You can either access it through their website or through a licensed insurance agent. Like some of the other carriers, you can usually get a rate indication within 5 minutes and can normally have a policy within a copy of hours once a signed application has been submitted.

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

Previous Claims

The Flood Insurance Agency seems to have the most flexibility on claims we have seen. Does this mean they will insure a property with 5 claims?  No, it means they look at the full story of how a claim occurred and how the risk might have been reduced after the loss.

Rate Stability

One of the greatest benefits of The Flood Insurance Agency is its rate lock program. We have seen property owners long in rates over a 3 year period. This goes a long way in providing long-term rate stability. In many situations, you can lock in 1, 2, or 3 years if you would like.

Flood Education Award Winners for Best Private Residential Flood Insurance in 2022

Each one of these companies brings something unique to the residential private flood insurance market. This is why they are our award winners for the best private residential flood insurance company in 2022.

If you want to learn more about how to reduce the chances of your property flooding or understand your flood insurance options then contact us below.

Contact Us

You can also further educate yourself by visiting our flood education learning center.

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Commercial flood insurance has changed a lot in the last 10 years. It has changed even more with the development of private flood insurance over the last 10 years and changing flood risk.

In this article, we are going to look at the flood education award winners for best commercial flood insurance in 2022. In no particular order, let's give some love to the companies that have been helping property owners across the country get back from life-threatening flood damage.

Commercial Flood Insurance

Flood insurance has been around for a long time now. At this point, changes are to be expected since floods' behavior also changes throughout time. It would be difficult to imagine a universe where flood insurance doesn't exist. Can you imagine how many businesses go bankrupt over flood loss?

It's important to also note that business insurance won't generally cover flood damage to a property which further highlights why a good commercial private flood insurance company can help in making things easier.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

This brought us to give recognition to the unflinching support that private flood insurance companies provide agencies like us and property owners. It's no easy feat to be able to hit all the right spots with relative ease and having that smooth transaction from buying flood insurance to filing a flood claim is important.

For this awarding ceremony, we were able to determine the best private flood insurance companies when it comes to commercial flood insurance. We just have to give some love and care to our businesses across the country who have been pushing through disasters like floods, pandemics, and now increasing inflation due to the recent crisis across the sea.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

You may ask how did we come up with the qualifying factors for this award? We are basing this list on 4 factors

  • Coverage limits
  • Ease of use for insurance agents
  • Long-term rate stability in the commercial flood insurance market 
  • Claims experience.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

It's important to understand that some of these companies will be referred to as managing general agencies which means if you're a commercial property owner you may have to access them through an insurance agent.

Which makes it all the while easier to manage your flood insurance and that's something that we understand commercial property owners need.

Between managing your commercial property, your business, and flood insurance, 24 hours can only go so far. These insurers help people like you still find time to relax especially during a flood event so that your head won't be plagued with asking "How can I come back from all the flood damage?"

So let's start with the list we will go in alphabetical order. The company that makes the list first is Argenia or the CRC group.

Argenia CRC Group

This particular company is a cover holder for reinsurers. What is a cover holder?

This means you can access certain flood markets through them that you may not be able to access through other companies. Argenia simply is opening the doorway and guiding you through different markets when it comes to your flood insurance.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

Their product seems to be very strong if you are looking for building coverage up to $5 million, business inventory coverage, and business loss of use. This can really be helpful for a lot of business owners since you won't be worrying about how to keep your business going after a flood.

From what we have seen claims have also been handled well with them. Like that trending song, Argenia is one of the companies that make you say "smooth like butter" from the cost of flood insurance to getting flood claims in place.

We saw firsthand how claims were handled with them during the Birmingham Alabama 2021 flooding, the 2021 Nashville flooding, and the 2021 New York flooding.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

Claims were paid out accurately based on the coverage amounts on the policies. The commercial pricing with CRC group also seems to be very consistent over the last 3 years. We have seen very few large increases when it comes to rates for policies renewing.

It's no surprise that most commercial property owners are quick to renew a policy with Argenia and the CRC group.

National Catastrophe Insurance Program

The next company we want to look at is The National Catastrophe Insurance Program (NCIP). The company also goes by CAT Coverage, hopefully, this explains their placement in this blog.

This particular company is one of the largest flood managing general agencies in the country. Like the other company, they seem to have a very strong product if you are looking for coverages of $5 million or less.

Their product offers business inventory and loss of use. It's important to know they also offer earthquake and landslide insurance as well.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

One of the benefits of the NCIP (sometimes even called CAT Coverage) is you can list multiple commercial buildings on one policy. This can be very beneficial for property managers who manage many properties or has some form of a franchise.

It can also be very beneficial from a fee standpoint. Usually, when you set up a commercial private flood insurance policy there are policy fees, so having one policy can reduce these fees.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

So what about claims? Well, we have been helping file claims with the NCIP for more than 4 years and the over claims experience has been great. In fact, in many situations they had claims settled before people with a National Flood Insurance Program policy did.

What about long-term rate stability? We have seen very stable commercial flood insurance rates with NCIP. This may be close to being guaranteed every time and for all policies. One reason we believe this is the case is that they have multiple relationships with different reinsurers.

Dual Commercial

Dual Commercial is another private flood insurance managing general agent.

Their name gives it away a little bit that commercial flood insurance is their specialty. In many situations, you can get $5 million in building coverage on their online platform.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

You generally have to access their product through an insurance broker or wholesaler. If you need something higher than $10 million or $20 million you can work with the flood underwriting team to get this type of coverage.

Their rates seem to be very stable over the last 5 years in the commercial flood insurance space. This simply means that you won't be seeing any significant increase upon renewal.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

One of the great benefits of Dual commercial is their ability to provide loss of use on their flood insurance policies. In most situations, this does carry a separate waiting period and deductible but they seem to be able to offer a lot higher amounts.

Loss of use is really helpful with a commercial property since any loss of income or money that you might be earning during the time that your property's being repaired will be covered by your flood insurance policy.

ReThought

ReThought might be one of the last companies we discuss, but they are leading the industry in innovation.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

The way they look at flood risk is different from many companies. In many situations, they look at how a property has been mitigated in determining the pricing of risk. They understand that if a property has flooded that the risk could still be lower after flood mitigation efforts have been done.

ReThought offers some unique flood insurance coverages in excess of $5 million. They also have some different offerings when it comes to loss of use coverage.

Flood Education Award: Best Private Commercial Flood Insurance in 2022

There were many companies that could have been chosen for this award but these companies were chosen because of the 4 factors that were looked at.

While other carriers may have had cheaper rates in many situations they could not provide the higher value coverages that business owners needed or their long-term pricing was not as stable.

If you want to learn more about how to lower the chances of your property flooding or what flood insurance options are available in your area then click here.

You can also visit our flood learning center by clicking below

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

Remember we have an education background in flood mitigation. This means we are here to help you understand your flood risks, and your flood insurance options, and mitigate your property from flooding.

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So you want to buy a flood insurance policy from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Well, you won't have to worry about how to get a policy directly from FEMA because there is the Write-Your-Own (WYO) Program.

What is NFIP's Write-Your-Own (WYO) Program?

In this article, we talk about everything you need to know about WYO policies and why the Write-Your-Own Policy helps make the process of getting flood insurance coverage from FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) easier.

Write-Your-Own Policy

When looking at flood insurance options, you'd be remiss to think that the NFIP and Private Flood Insurance are two separate worlds that can never meet.

This is far from the truth as FEMA and the NFIP actually built a cooperative in 1983 as a form of partnership with the private flood insurance industry. This is called the Write-Your-Own (WYO) Program.

This created a system wherein you don't need to bother and go through all the hassle of getting a flood policy from FEMA.

What is NFIP's Write-Your-Own Program?

Generally, the Write-Your-Own (WYO) Program helps you find an alternative way to process your NFIP policy through other insurance companies. At the time of writing, FEMA reports that there are at least 50 participating insurers or carriers.

If you want to see what insurance companies are participating in the WYO program, CLICK HERE to go to FEMA's official list.

What's The Difference?

Now, you might be starting to wonder: what's the difference then?

When it comes to the Write-Your-Own, it basically allows other insurance companies outside of FEMA and the NFIP to provide insurance support for operations and everything needed to write an NFIP policy. This makes it easier and quicker to understand your flood risks, especially with the updated Risk Rating 2.0.

What is NFIP's Write-Your-Own Program?

The insurance companies participating in the WYO are allowed to both process the writing of your flood policy, managing of the documents, and use their resource to help you get your flood insurance easier.

The same also applies when you file a flood claim where you will see the participating company to help you get your flood insurance claim get processed.

It's important to note, however, that policies that are written under the WYO still follow FEMA and NFIP's coverage and rates. This should be your heads up especially considering that all federal flood insurance policies are now officially following the new Risk Rating 2.0 program.

What is NFIP's Write-Your-Own Program?

Generally, this means that you will still see a $250,000 limit for building coverage for residential properties or up to $500,000 max for commercial properties with a $100,000 contents coverage.

Getting a WYO policy also means that floodplain management regulations (i.e. flood insurance rate map) set by the federal government will be strictly in place and participating companies are expected to follow it.

Want To Learn More?

If you want to know more about the benefits and differences between the Write-Your-Own Program and NFIP Direct, listen to our podcast below or read our blog post on Write-Your-Own and NFIP Direct:

 

If you still have questions on flood insurance, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center. You could also contact us so we can discuss your flood insurance needs.

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The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

As the U.S. moves out of the moist cold winter weather, the risk of flooding also presents itself. Most can expect to see spring runoff and snowmelt, but fires?

Fire to Floods: Hoover Brush Fire Creates New Flood Threat in Alabama

Let's talk about the recent brush fire in Hoover, Alabama, and how this can impact both flooding and flood insurance in Hoover and its neighboring counties.

Not an April Fool's Joke

The typical quiet Wednesday night (March 30) for most people was disturbed by a brush fire in Hoover, a city in Jefferson County, and Shelby County in Alabama. The brush fire was reported to be driven by strong winds and began just before 7:00 PM.

The brush fire was enough to displace at least 26 units in City Heights apartments on Alpine Village Drive. The impact, although not direct, was substantial thermal damage that presented a lot of risks for the residents.

Fire to Floods: Hoover Brush Fire Creates New Flood Threat in AlabamaHoover Brush Fire as recorded by a resident, Joshua Johnson (from: abc3340.com)

We're talking about at least two dozen families needing to get away from their property. At least two people were treated for smoke inhalation. The good news is that the fire was extinguished completely by 8:40 PM and there wasn't a single death during the fire.

Now, you might be wondering how this and floods can be related? That's understandable since we're talking about literal fire and water here. Let's unpack that question for you.

Floods and Fires

Despite being the polar opposite element of flooding, fire can have a great contribution to flooding in an area. In this case, Hoover might also be facing increased flood risks due to the recent brush fire.

Wildfires like this can damage the soil and vegetation which naturally helps mitigate the severity of a flood event.

Fire to Floods: Hoover Brush Fire Creates New Flood Threat in Alabama

The soil absorbs all that rainwater during heavy rain reducing the excess water flowing into an area. The vegetation also does the same thing while supporting and holding the soil under them reducing mudflows and landslides.

However, when a fire like this happens, both of those things will face significant damage. As the heat dries out the soil, it won't be able to take in water and all that charred remains will add to the floodwater. There will also be a lot of debris flow due to the burnt flora. We've seen this flood threat before in California.

What It Means for Flood Insurance

One of the things that came out of the recent flood insurance update on the federal side with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the Risk Rating 2.0 and how it perceives flood threats.

The new Risk Rating 2.0 will be assessing a lot of flood variables when it comes to determining the premium rate for your property.

For Hoover residents, this type of event can add to the amount of flooding and flood type variables. Instead of just expecting potential flooding due to runoff or rising of bodies of water like Parker Lake and Cahaba River, property owners in Hoover will also be assessed for possible flash flooding and mudflow caused by this brush fire.

This could badly hurt your flood insurance premiums with the Risk Rating 2.0 especially once your renewal kicks in.

Fire to Floods: Hoover Brush Fire Creates New Flood Threat in Alabama

— Good thing I'm doing a private flood insurance policy, right?

Although Private Flood generally has cheaper premium rates, private insurance companies were first to assess a property's flood risk by looking at its flood data and not just the flood zone alone. This may still present a shift in your Hoover home's flood risk hence flood insurance rates.

Better Than No Flood Insurance

At the end of the day, it's best to still secure that flood insurance since we can't really tell how Hoover would respond to flooding in the next few weeks. We're looking at spring runoff, snowmelt, heavy rainfall, and now, fire scars of this as flood risks in Hoover.

If you need flood insurance, Alabama has been opened to more options due to increased risks from previous years. This way, you can get your flood insurance through either the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the NFIP or through multiple private flood insurance companies.

If you want to know how they are different, watch the video below:

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks like brush fires, your flood insurance, and how to best protect the value of your property long-term.

If you've got questions, click the link below to go to our Flood Learning Center:

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

You can also use this link below to call us:

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

Be safe out there, Alabama.

As the whole country moves out of the winter season, saying goodbye to all that snow might not be quick after all. One of the secrets of this transition from the snow-filled streets to blooming trees is the threat of flooding.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

Today, we want to talk about snowmelt, how it impacts flooding, and how flood insurance helps in protecting yourself from snow.

Spring Floods in 2022

Farewell to our cool friends from the month of December (see what we did there?) and hello to a warmer climate. For some this is a breath of fresh air since, let's be honest, the winter season had its fair share of annoyances like slippery pavements and the need to constantly shovel snow for areas that experience a lot of snow like the midwest region.

However, this shift might be presenting a bigger concern for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as the warmer climate also presents the possibility of drought and spring floods across the West, Midwest, and Southeast.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

Why are NOAA and other National Weather Service (NWS) are worrying? We got a lot of moisture from winter, Chris.

This is exactly the case when you start to look into flooding. As we move into the warmest season of the year, Summer, it's important to note that all that ice and snow will start to melt.

When you have oversaturated soil, it only takes a small rainfall to transform these into water.

Lookout! Spring Floods in 2022

NOAA considers a lot of factors other than snowmelt when it comes to what's called the spring flood that we may see in May. These things include drought, the current status of snowpacks, saturation levels, frost depth, and streamflow.

These things separated don't really cause floods, but they are ingredients to the worst cocktail you might experience. However, it's important to note that flood threats don't just pertain to that overflow of water from rivers, lakes, or creeks. We all know by now that even consistent rainfall can create damaging floodwaters.

We've actually seen this happen last year in the state of Colorado. You can read our blog on it by clicking here (Snowstorm in the Centennial State: Impacts of the May Spring Runoff).

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

Considering that there was very late precipitation in fall and winter, the ground that we have during the first months of Spring would still be too wet to take in more water. Major flood risks are being expected from areas near the Red River, Ohio River, and the James River.

This isn't a problem that's specific to areas covered by snow like Ohio where there can be 2 to 4 inches of snow on average, but also to low-lying areas. Once these areas' respective ground couldn't take any more water, all that water won't stop and actually go to low-lying areas.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

 

Once you include drought in the equation, then you're just looking at heavy rain and even small amounts of precipitation to be water hitting cement.

This is why NOAA's recent outlook sees areas like the Ohio Valley to be at above-average levels when it comes to flood risks during the spring. This simply means that Ohio is expected to see more floods and runoff during the blooming season. This is the concern of NOAA due to the melting of ice, snow, as well as precipitation as we move into a warmer climate.

How Flood Insurance Helps

We're going, to be honest, a mere flood policy won't be able to change the flood threat that you're facing in Ohio or control its flood stage. However, just like a role-playing game, flood insurance has all the defense stats you would need to avoid getting snared by the violent spring runoff.

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Flood insurance actually covers damages from all types of flooding including spring runoff or spring flood. This simply means that regardless of the floodwaters coming from snowpacks melting, storms, or major rivers cresting, you will find peace of mind knowing that you can fight those losses.

What Snowmelts Mean for Flooding in Ohio

A standard flood insurance policy can cover all of the damages due to flooding on both your home or dwelling and everything inside of it. Depending on where you're getting your flood insurance, you might see different coverage amounts.

For example, getting a flood policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will cap your coverage amount for building damages to $250,000 and $100,000 for contents.

The same can't be said for private flood insurance companies. Private flood is known for its quick turnaround time to have a policy take effect on an insured building and more flexible coverage amounts.

Need more help in preparing for spring floods? Click here to read our guide on "How to Prepare For 2022 Spring Runoff Season".

Bloom in Spring

Spring flood is becoming a yearly concern for the United States, so it's best to know why such an important change from winter to spring can impact you. After all, we are talking about our safety.

If you've got questions on spring floods or anything about flood insurance, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center where we answer your flood insurance questions.

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Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flooding, flood insurance, and protecting you from all types of flood risks.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

 

 

Birmingham — Water is the source of life, right? But for Birmingham, Alabama, water can be a real problem and danger as floodwaters become more dangerous.

Just this month of March, we've already seen substantial flash flooding that inundated streets, establishments, and roads rendering them unusable and unsafe.

This begs the question, why do these floods keep happening in Alabama?

We'll talk about that and more in this blog.

Birmingham Last Week

Many residents across multiple counties in the State of Alabama are being bombarded with heavy rainfall due to severe storms since last Wednesday (March 16th). There were numerous areas of heavy rain and storms on First Alert AccuTrack moving in all sorts of directions. We expected this when we discussed potential flood events last month. However, this is was not at a level anyone can expect to impact Alabama.

Flash flooding immediately occurred after cities get dumped with about 2 to 4 inches of rain. At this point, it shows that it doesn't really need to be the heaviest rains to cause a flooding event in Alabama and in the city of Birmingham.

Source: www.al.com | Elizabeth D. Madison

Yesterday evening (March 22nd), a lot of vehicles in the suburbs of Birmingham were stalled by the flash floods. The drivers faced huge problems when they got caught in a flood causing a lot of cars to simply shut down in the middle of flooded roads.

This is one of the biggest concerns that FOX News' Jonathan Hardison tweeted about last night. Add this to severe storms literally busting the roof off of multiple properties ranging from mobile homes to common residential buildings.

Unfortunately, such weather conditions became very bad that one man, Joseva Lawrence Speed, 60, reportedly drowned in Wednesday's flooding after trying to get into a family members' car, and sadly he got overwhelmed by the flash flood.

So with all these flash floods caused by 1 to 5 inches of rain, you might be wondering, what's causing all these constant floods in Alabama and Birmingham City?

Birmingham Relentlessly Battles Floods

Geographical Reasons

For us to understand why Birmingham keeps on getting flooded, we have to acknowledge that Alabama and the city of Birmingham itself sit on a valley which at least 8,000 acres of land being zoned into a Flood Zone A or AE. This means that whenever there's precipitation, you can't really avoid or prevent that excess rainfall to flow downhill into low-lying areas.

These include multiple creeks such as the Shades and Little Shades creeks. You can also count the Black Warrior and Cahaba River watersheds in the areas that receive all that water from excessive rainfall.

Although there are systems in place like stormwater drainage that helps in redirecting where the floodwater goes to avoid potential damage to properties, Jonathan D. Yates, Birmingham's director of the Department of Public Works, had different findings.

These systems are simply not cut out anymore for what's happening in Birmingham. Yates even said that the stormwater drainage system is not built to handle that big and severe of a storm. So it's not just blockage or blocked drainage that's causing all these floods, it's also the behavior of water itself.

Commercial Flood Insurance Map

Urbanization: Water Hitting Cement

Other than the geographic consideration, you also need to look at progressive urbanization which turns natural soil into hard concrete. There are a lot of building projects which remove our natural protective measures against flooding such as flora like trees, vegetation, and grasses.

You see, in wooden areas, all that rainwater is getting absorbed by the soil; however the same can't be said for cities like Birmingham where rain simply just stays and moves around there.

Just imagine spilling water over your wooden dining table versus the water that's poured on a sponge. It's basically changing all that rainwater into stormwater runoff from higher areas of the state and Birmingham City.

Impacts of Climate Change

Lastly, you also need to consider how climate change has drastically worsened how these usual storms, rainfall amounts, and flooding behaves.

The drastic change from cold weather to a very warm one is only going to cause more precipitation or rain in an area. It's basic evaporation, condensation, and precipitation in Science. 

Extreme heat can also cause droughts which are generally like hitting the water to a hard concrete or cement. Take note, this is natural soil not being able to seep in water due to these severe weather conditions.

How to Best Protect Yourself

A lot of things come into play whenever you start thinking about flood mitigation. You can consider the area and flood zone to determine the overall chances of getting flooded you may have.

This is why we really encourage property owners, from restaurants to residential houses, to create flood protection for their property. This includes installing flood vents that help floodwater pass through your property and not really inundate it that much. You can also prepare sandbagging in order to slow the flow of water on your property.

These are just short-term steps in protecting yourself. The best way is to really get yourself flood insurance. This isn't really something that you can see like flood vents or sandbags, but it's the most efficient way to protect your valuables and property from flood damage.

Flood loss is the biggest concern of people in Birmingham especially with these constant floods happening in the city and the only way to take that off your chest is to be sure that someone's got your back.

Birmingham has a lot of flood insurance options that you can choose from.

You can do it through the federal government with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which got an update through Risk Rating 2.0.

You can also go through the Private Flood Insurance market which offers multiple and various insurance carriers to help you get coverage for your property.

Getting flood insurance also helps you avoid the worry of not having anything to go back to. This is because regardless of where you get your flood insurance from, you will be covered for the damages on your building as well as everything inside it.

It's hard to say that all this will be over since we can't really predict and dictate how floodwater behaves. We hope that you stay safe out there!

If you have any questions, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer all your flood insurance questions.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks, your flood insurance, and protecting the value of your property long-term.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

Alabama is a buyer beware state what exactly does this mean for Pelham Alabama homebuyers?

According to the Alabama Real Estate Institute, this means you must notify the buyer that it is their responsibility to have the proper inspections performed on a home before they actually close on the sale. The buyer is not to rely on the seller to disclose all imperfections of a property when making a decision whether to buy or not to buy.

This basically means "buyer beware". It is an interesting time for a buyer to beware in the state of Alabama right now especially Pelham Alabama. 

Pelham Alabama experienced a significant flood in October 2021. As these properties are being repaired. many are being sold. This can be challenging since it is a buyer beware state. It's especially challenging because of the crazy real estate market right.

So is there any way to protect yourself as a buyer to determine if a property has flooded?  Yes, there are a few things we are going to discuss that can help you.

We are going to look at inspections and ask the right questions

Home Inspections

Home inspections can play an important role in determining if a property has had water damage. About a year ago my wife and I were looking at properties to purchase. We were actually able to use the home inspection report to determine that water had actually entered the property causing damage. The inspection has helped us see that the issues that caused the water damage had been fixed. 

 

Asking the Right Questions

Protecting yourself as a buyer can come down to asking the right questions. This is why it is always smart to work with licensed real estate agents when asking property owners questions about a property. Many times a real estate agent knows what questions to ask because of their experience in dealing with property sales. 

The home buying process can be tricky if the right questions are not asked. One of those questions should be has the property flooded since you have owned it or lived in it?

When doing a real estate transaction it might be that it's an investment property where the property owner has never lived in the property.

This is the case with many Pelham Alabama properties as many properties are smaller homes or even townhouses. 

It's also important to understand the flood zone and flood risk of the property. Mortgage companies will run a standard flood zone determination to determine if the Pelham Alabama property is in the special flood hazard area, If it is in the special flood hazard area then the flood zone is generally going to be flood zone A or Flood zone AE. You can learn the difference in the video below.

 

If the mortgage company comes back and says it is not in a special flood hazard area that is great it means that flood insurance will not be required. However, that does not mean that the property will not flood or has not flooded.

Many Pelham Alabama properties that flooded in October 2021 were not in high-risk flood zones they were in low-risk flood zones also called flood zone x. 

 

Finding out if a property has flood claims on it can be difficult since these losses generally can only be disclosed to the current property owner. So these questions can be very important it's also important to ask the owners of adjacent properties if they have ever experienced flood damage since living there.

As a buyer of course there are only so many questions you can ask. So you really have to do your due diligence to understand everything during the diligence period. Working with a buyer's agent or sometimes a single agent is one way to do that.

One thing is to get flood insurance quotes for the property through the National Flood Insurance Program and private flood insurance companies. You can watch the video below to learn about the difference.

 

So are there any exceptions to the buyer beware law in Alabama? There can be some things that fall under health and safety and if you are lied to about a certain question. We are not licensed attorneys so we can not advise on these things. 

However, if you have questions about understanding your flood risk, how to reduce it, or different flood insurance options then we can help you. 

You can check out our learning center here

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You can also give us a call

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

Facts can be Stranger than Fiction.

When scrolling through your Facebook feeds, you'll stumble upon an unexpected mind-blowing video. Do you know those stories that could make you do google fact check if the story is true?

Check out, for example, what happened today in Alabama's weather. We expect the winter season to close and welcome the blooming spring flowers and… BOOM! We get a deluge caused by heavy rainfall to sink everything around.

Alabama's Shocking Weather Today 

At the time of writing, many residents across multiple counties in the State of Alabama are being bombarded with heavy rainfall due to severe storms. There were numerous areas of heavy rain and storms on First Alert AccuTrack moving in all sorts of directions. We expected this prior when we focused on the potential flood events last month.

These types of storms have also been known to produce hail, which was of the size of a pea from the report. But don't underestimate them, considering it can hit like that of one of those used in paintballs which could definitely cause minor damage to your property. 

Flood Insurance for Alabama Storms: Are You Covered for This?

Alabama News even called this weekend a "severe risk Friday" due to the amount of rain expected due to the upper-level lows and cold fronts moving from Central Alabama to the Southeast.

Although these conditions are expected to end by next week, one should expect moderate to heavy rain until Thursday. The impacts of these severe thunderstorms are already felt across Jefferson County and Shelby County 

From this scenario, the whole central area of the state will obviously be exposed to heavy flooding. Just this afternoon, as the hail falls in multiple counties, a woman in Birmingham was rescued from her car, which was stuck on knee-deep high water. 

Flood Insurance for Alabama Storms: Are You Covered for This?

Don't worry, the lady is unscathed and in good condition. Sadly, we can't say the same for her car and dozens of vehicles that drove off the same road and those left in the parking area. 

This begs the question: Does flood insurance cover vehicles damaged by floodwater? 

Flood Insurance and Vehicles 

Today, Highway 31 in Alabama was inundated by flood. The local government of Jefferson and Shelby counties issued a flash flood warning until 5:30 PM. That is to save everyone from getting stranded at that same time, minimize the risk of vehicular damage. 

When it comes to flooding, vehicles are more susceptible to getting the bulk of the damage than homes. Why? For one, numerous vehicles get driven into flooded areas which causes a lot of problems safety-wise and insurance-wise.

When a car gets flooded, it is vulnerable to various problems, beginning with mold. Rust can form on body panels and other components. Water can cause engine harm. Then there's the electrical circuitry that controls everything from power windows to a car's safety and entertainment systems. They might fail intermittently or entirely.

Flood Insurance for Alabama Storms: Are You Covered for This?

Believe me, I worked as a branch manager for Enterprise Car Rental in Alabama and I saw how the southeast easily gets flooded. This is especially noticeable in Avondale and near the University of Alabama in Birmingham. This happens even with the smallest amount of rain and I've seen its severe damages to the vehicles.

— So, does having flood insurance also cover your vehicle?  

No. When it comes to vehicle coverage, no flood insurance policy will cover the damages that your truck, car, or minivan gets due to flooding. Even when you get extended coverage with your flood policy, vehicles won't be covered.

This is because flood insurance only covers your dwelling or the property building and its contents. The only time your vehicle will be covered due to flood damage is if you have that comprehensive coverage in your auto insurance policy.

Regardless of this exclusion in your flood insurance policy, it's always essential to ensure that there's a flood policy ready to protect you from flood loss.

Flood Insurance for Alabama Storms: Are You Covered for This?

Do Flood Zones Still Matter in Alabama?

That's another question that we need to ask about the current erratic weather conditions and the flooding we're seeing across cities in Alabama. Specifically, do flood zones still matter, especially with all these flash floodings? 

Not anymore. 

As you know, flood zones rating is no longer carried by either the federal or private flood insurance carriers. These ratings, which are a basis of risk a location could have when severe rain happens is, omitted and now do not impact the homeowner's premium rate.  

— Is it sound advice then not to get flood insurance just because of flood zone changes?

When you consider Alabama's current weather state and flooding occurrences, I believe we will both agree that regardless of a flood zone, one can never be too sure about the damages one can get because of these heavy rainfalls.

Do you know that Alabama is experiencing an enhanced risk for flooding in the last 2 - 3 years compared to the previous 10 - 15 years?

Be not like the property owners who moved into a low-risk flood zone and forgo carrying flood insurance for their properties and end up incurring large losses.

They may save money in the short run compared to those properties in the high-risk zones like Flood Zone A or AE, which are required to carry flood insurance. But that could be an expensive mistake, especially if situated in Alabama.

Nowadays, it's easy to conclude that you still have a big chance of getting flooded regardless of your flood zone. Would you risk losing thousands of dollars in flood just to save a few bucks from not getting flood insurance now?

We believe that you'd say no. So, let's talk about your flood insurance options in Alabama. Watch this video so you could too understand how to buy flood insurance in Alabama and your options.

We hope that everyone in Alabama is safe and sound despite having this type of weather condition. Flooding, hail, rainfall, and storms like this are no joke. So be safe as well. Don't drive into flooded roads. Make sure to be aware of where an area is flooded and protect yourself with flood insurance.

If you have any questions, click below to go to our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer all your flood insurance questions. Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation which lets us help you understand flood risks, your flood insurance, and protecting the value of your property long-term.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base