Today we are talking about the recent flooding that has taken place in Tulsa Oklahoma on the Arkansas River. What impacts will this flooding have on future flood insurance rates? What impact will it have on the availability of flood insurance.

The 2019 flooding on the Arkansas river has been devastating it has stopped alot of businesses like The River Spirit Casino from operating. According to CNN they are one of the largest employers in the Tulsa area.  So as you can see the flooding can impact everything but how can it impact the future. Well we are going to talk about how it can impact future insurance rates and availability in Tulsa and the rest of Oklahoma.

When flooding occurs it teaches lessons it shows either an area was prepared or not. It shows that area should be a risk flood zone or it should not. Well this is exactly what is occurring in Tulsa Oklahoma. So why do areas that are low risk and areas that are high risk not flood. These areas are known as 500 year and 100 year flood zones. These zones have a probability of flooding within a given year. They are strictly probabilities based on surrounding factors like nearby water and elevations of land. So when these areas many times it teaches FEMA and local flood plain managers that some areas should be higher risk and other areas should be low risk.

As we are seeing these areas in Tulsa along the Arkansas river flood severely it could have a huge impact on future flood insurance rates especially through the National Flood Insurance Program. FEMA tries to review local flood maps every year and sometimes it takes a few years to agree with local officials on a new map. One of the big deciding factors are past floods that are used as historical data in determining future flood insurance maps which will determine flood insurance rates.  So the next time Tulsa flood maps are reviewed you may see a big change in who has to have flood insurance and who doesn't.

Another impact that this Tulsa flooding is having is on the immediate availability of flood insurance. When it comes to the National Flood Insurance Program it is always available as long as the program is authorized by congress. However when it comes to private flood insurance they work a little bit differently. When flooding occurs they generally put a moratorium where new business can not be done in these areas until flood warnings are gone. Normally this only last a few weeks but areas of long term flooding like Nebraska and Iowa have shown us that this can occur for six months.

As you can see the current flooding in Tulsas Oklahoma is having short term and long term impacts on flood insurance options. Its very important that you work with a flood insurance expert like The Flood Insurance Guru so you always know what flood insurance options are available.

If you have questions about flood insurance you can always visit our website Flood Insurance Guru.
You can also visit our YouTube channel or Facebook page where we do daily flood education videos.

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Disaster assistance, flood insurance, and disaster loans can always be confusing. What applies to what situation? Can they be used together? Let's talk about that a little bit so we can help prepare you when you have a flood loss.


First of all remember, disaster assistance and SBA loans are only going to be there when there's presidential declarations are put in place and you've met those restrictions. SBA loans, which is basically the main loan the government uses for disaster loans, is going to have income restrictions. So it could be that you can't get financing or you can't get help other areas. And this is where SBA loans come into play.

So here's the question though, if you have got disaster assistance, can you get a SBA loan? The answer to that question is yes. What happens is SBA loans can cover up to $200,000. So let's say that you have $80,000 in damage and disaster assistance covered $40,000. So let's say that an SBA loan could cover up to $200,000. They're going to take out whatever you got on disaster assistance. So what if you had insurance? Well, an SBA loan is going to do the same thing. They're going to take out whatever you got from maybe disaster assistance and insurance. So let's say those two combined for $180,000, then you might get an extra 20 grand from doing a small business loan, if it covers up to $200,000.

The other key area where SBA loans come into play is just simply doing the application. We get a lot of questions from people if I do an SBA application in the middle of the disaster assistance process, am I going to lose my disaster assistance? Am I going to get delayed?" The answer to that question is no. Not only that, but applying, simply just applying for an SBA loan could open up other areas what are called other needs assistance through the FEMA grant. This could be uninsured furniture, uninsured personal property, and even uninsured vehicles could possibly be covered up to $40,000 in damage. So these are the important things when it comes to disaster assistance, disaster loans and insurance.

Just remember, it's not an and or world you could end up having all three put together. Now you might have very limited coverage when it comes to disaster assistance and an SBA loan because flood insurance, if you've got it listed correctly, should have up to $250,000. You should have additional living expenses listed on that flood insurance policy so you don't have to worry about that. You should have replacement cost if it's outside the National Flood Insurance Program. So make sure that you max out your flood insurance policy because it's the best thing money can buy when it comes to a coverage standpoint.

So when you're doing this, just make sure to max that out. What's going to happen then is you might have a $250,000 replacement policy and you might have $100,000 on contents. So maybe you do need more than that on personal property. Maybe you can get some other needs covered under grants through FEMA. But remember, insurance is the first defense, then assistance is there, and  if the assistance doesn't cover it, then that's when you go and look for a disaster loan.

So if you've got questions about disaster loans or disaster assistance, remember, you can always go to disasterassistance.gov or femawww.fema.gov.gov. You can also visit our website regarding flood insurance and these other disaster assistance, disaster loan questions, floodinsuranceguru.com. Also, remember to like our Facebook page  and our YouTube channel, The Flood Insurance Guru, where we do daily flood education videos. You can also give us a call, 205-451-4294.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Losing everything to a flood can be devastating but so can the days afterwards. Knowing what to do after the flood might be just as important as what to do before the flood. Today we are going to talk about 5 reasons why disaster assistance could be declined and how to avoid them.

Before we understand why disaster assistance can be declined we must understand what it is and when its is available?

​So what is disaster assistance? Disaster assistance is assistance from FEMA after a natural disaster and is available after presidentially declaration.

So lets discuss why disaster assistance might be declined. The first reason is if the primary home is still livable. What this means is even though you might have suffered flood damage there was not enough damage to force you out of the home because of the severity of damage.

Another reason is FEMA could not reach you to do the inspection of the home. Its extremely important that if you can not live in the home that you give an address where you can be found and a good contact number.

Reason 3 why disaster assistance could be denied is if your flood insurance covered all the damages. This always brings up the question can i still get assistance if i had flood insurance. Yes many times flood insurance won't cover all the things you need and may not cover temporary living expenses at all.

Reason 4 probably comes from the frustration of trying to get resources as quickly as possible. Many times multiple people in the same household will apply for disaster assistance and this causes other people in the home to be declined. So remember when applying for disaster assistance only one person per household can get it. This will hopefully help you avoid being declined.

Reason 5 might be one of the most common reasons for being declined and that is identity issues. Many times people will list a first name but not a legal name. This causes an issue with matching the claimants name and social security number. So make sure to list your name exactly the way it is on your social security card. The biggest area this causes a problem is people who have recently gotten married and have not changed the name legally yet.

There are alot more than 5 reasons why disaster assistance might be declined but these are 5 more common reasons. So if you have questions about disaster assistance or flood insurance please visit our website Flood Insurance Guru. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel or like our Facebook page where we do daily flood education videos.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

What is the National Flood Insurance Program continuous coverage rule? What qualifies and what doesn't? We are going to discuss that a little bit.

The continuous coverage rule states that a property has had continuous coverage on it through the National Flood Insurance Program. Continuous coverage goes away if a policy has lapsed for payment. So when the policy is reinstated the continuous coverage discount goes away which can be significant. The way NFIP looks at this rule is like customer loyalty they are giving a credit for having continuous coverage. As a result a customer maybe receiving a discount because they have had a flood policy when the flood zone was different or a lower risk zone. 

Its important to understand when selling a home how to keep the continuous coverage rule in place correctly. If you do a policy transfer or assumption then the continuous coverage rule on the property can stay in place. However if you take out a new policy then the continuous coverage rule would not be in place. So its very important to understand the correct process of doing a policy assumption. 

Its also important to pay attention to flood zone changes as these change frequently. So if your flood zone is changing from a flood zone X or low risk flood zone to a flood zone A or AE which is a high risk zone then make sure to take this flood policy out before the change. This way it will qualify for continuous coverage when the zone changes and could make selling your property easier.

So if you have questions about continuous coverage, what the discount is, or if you qualify please visit our website Flood Insurance Guru. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel or like our Facebook page where we do daily flood education videos. Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation so we can help you understand your flood insurance, risks, and mitigating your property long term.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Disaster assistance comes available after a presidential declaration has been filed in a certain area. Its important to understand what each type of disaster is and how it will impact you.  Lets talk about Public assistance, individual assistance, and hazard mitigation.

Through the Public Assistance program FEMA provides supplemental federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and repair or replacement of publicly owned facilities and certain private nonprofit organizations.


Individual Assistance program by FEMA provides assistance to individuals and families who have lost their homes as a result of a presidentially declared disaster. Some other things that assistance may cover are medical, dental, childcare, funeral, burial, essential household items, moving, storage, vehicle, and some cleanup items. Its important to know that assistance is not provided to small business owners, or people with secondary homes.

Hazard Mitigation program is there to help minimize future losses from a disaster. These program provides grants to state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions to reduce their losses from natural hazards.  These are any actions taken to reduce or eliminate long term risk to people and property. 

Understanding how each type of disaster assistance impacts you is important. Its also important to understand how to register for assistance because not everyone will qualify. So if you have questions about how to register? Can you get assistance if you have flood insurance? What will it cover?  Please visit our website Flood Insurance Guru to learn more. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel or like our Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru where we do daily flood education videos. Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation so we are here to help you understand flood insurance, risks, and mitigating your property long term.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Private flood insurance has made a big push over the last 15 years as technology has developed. As natural disasters have caused more and more damage it has put more stress on the National Flood Insurance Program, creating the need for another option.

First of all what is private flood insurance? This flood insurance that is offered by a private insurance company instead of the government.

So what is the update on private flood insurance all about? As we mentioned as disaster expenses have increased stress on the National Flood Insurance Program has increased creating an unaffordable option for flood insurance for many people. There has been the need for private carriers to step in but they could not correctly determine the risk without the advancement in technology. As GIS has come along way it has allowed private companies to step into this market providing more accurate ratings than the National Flood Insurance Program has been able to.

As a result of these changes people who have non government loans have been able to take advantage of these new rating systems for about the last 10 years. The problem has been that the FDIC and other government agencies have not allowed for private flood insurance on loans like FHA, VA, and USDA loans.

This has been a battle that has been going on since 2012 with the Big Waters Act and the government has finally decided to take action. Starting July 1st 2019 government lending institutions will be required to accept private flood insurance.

So will every bank accept private flood insurance? No they will not there will still be certain requirements that each flood insurance policy must meet and some will fail. So what are these requirements?

The following requirements must be meet for a private flood insurance policy to be acceptable

Meet the statutory definition of private flood insurance in the Biggert-Waters Act

Meets the mandatory purchase requirement

Policy provides sufficient protection of the loan, consistent with general safety principles

Policy must be just as broad as an NFIP policy on coverages, exclusions, and deductibles

This new ruling by FDIC is something that has been needed for along time. It it going to cause a lot of confusion at first and is going to take alot of educating and awareness. So if you have questions, maybe you have been turned down for private flood then please reach out to us. You can visit our website Flood Insurance Guru. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel or like our Facebook page where we do daily flood educational videos. Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation so we can help you understand your flood risks, insurance, and mitigating your property long term.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Flooding has caused a lot of problems across the country especially recently in areas like Kingfisher Oklahoma, Tulsa Oklahoma, and other areas along the Arkansas and Cimarron rivers. All the flooding has caused people to think what flood insurance options are available in Oklahoma?

​Well lets talk about that a little bit. When it comes to flood insurance in areas like Tulsa Oklahoma, Kingfisher Oklahoma, and even Oklahoma city you have two different options. You can go through the National Flood Insurance Program or the private flood insurance market. The flood insurance options will depend what type of loan you have on your property in Tulsa Oklahoma. For example lets say you have a government loan like an FHA, VA, or USDA loan then more than likely you are going to have to go through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Once you get in these program there are still some different options available to you. Let's say this is a new purchase then the first think you want to look at is to see if there is currently a National Flood Insurance Program policy in place. If there is you maybe able to do a policy transfer or policy assumption. If not you may still be able to get a policy grandfathered if you can show that the house was built to compliance.

Now lets talk about if you are doing a non government loan this would be like a traditional conventional loan through a bank, credit union, or other financial institution. If this is the case then you should be able to go to the private flood insurance market. The private market works a little bit different because it provides alot higher amounts of coverage than the National Flood Insurance Program does. The pricing can also be 50% less in many situations. You will also want to check with your bank to make sure they will accept this type of flood insurance.

Now that we know the two types of flood insurance options, lets discuss how you can get more information about flood insurance in Oklahoma. You can visit our website Flood Insurance Guru to learn more. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel or like our Facebook page where we do daily flood education videos. You can also click the button below to get more information from us. Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation so we can help you understand your flood risks, flood insurance, and help you mitigate your home long term.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Flooding has caused a lot of problems across the country especially recently in areas like St. Louis and Kansas City Missouri. All the flooding has caused people to think what flood insurance options are available in Missouri?

Well lets talk about that a little bit. When it comes to flood insurance in Saint Louis or Kansas City Missouri you have a copy of different options. You can go through the National Flood Insurance Program or the private flood insurance market. The flood insurance options will depend what type of loan you have on your property in Kansas City or Saint Louis. For example lets say you have a government loan like an FHA, VA, or USDA loan then more than likely you are going to have to go through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Once you get in these program there are still some different options available to you. Let's say this is a new purchase then the first think you want to look at is to see if there is currently a National Flood Insurance Program policy in place. If there is you maybe able to do a policy transfer or policy assumption. If not you may still be able to get a policy grandfathered if you can show that the house was built to compliance. 

Now lets talk about if you are doing a non government loan this would be like a traditional conventional loan through a bank, credit union, or other financial institution. If this is the case then you should be able to go to the private flood insurance market. The private market works a little bit different because it provides alot higher amounts of coverage than the National Flood Insurance Program does. The pricing can also be 50% less in many situations. You will also want to check with your bank to make sure they will accept this type of flood insurance.

Now that we know the two types of flood insurance options, lets discuss how you can get more information. You can visit our website Flood Insurance Guru to learn more. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel or like our Facebook page where we do daily flood education videos. You can also click the button below to get more information from us. Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation so we can help you understand your flood risks, flood insurance, and help you mitigate your home long term. 

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

In our last blog we discussed what is disaster assistance? Today we are comparing disaster assistance and SBA loans.

As we mentioned in our prior blog disaster assistance happens after a presidential declaration has been filed. There are a three different types of disaster assistance. You have Public Assistance, Individual Assistance, and Hazard Mitigation.

Through the Public Assistance program FEMA provides supplemental federal disaster grant assistance for debris removal, emergency protective measures, and repair or replacement of publicly owned facilities and certain private nonprofit organizations.

Individual Assistance program by FEMA provides assistance to individuals and families who have lost their homes as a result of a presidentially declared disaster. Some other things that assistance may cover are medical, dental, childcare, funeral, burial, essential household items, moving, storage, vehicle, and some cleanup items. Its important to know that assistance is not provided to small business owners, or people with secondary homes.

Hazard Mitigation program is there to help minimize future losses from a disaster. These program provides grants to state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions to reduce their losses from natural hazards. These are any actions taken to reduce or eliminate long term risk to people and property.

Alright now that we know what the three basic types of disaster assistance are, how is it different than SBA loans? What are SBA loans first of all?

SBA loans also known as the small business administration offers affordable financial help to homeowners and renters in declared disaster areas. So how is this program different than disaster assistance? Well there are two words that set these two programs apart. That is grants and loans. The disaster assistance program is a grant program that does not have to be paid back. The SBA loan is a low interest loan and can provide a much higher amount than the disaster assistance program. The SBA loan can provide up to $200,000 in coverage to repair or replace your primary home to its pre-disaster condition. Disaster assistance will make your home livable but does not bring it back to the pre-disaster condition. Like the disaster assistance program SBA loans are not available on secondary or vacation homes, but certain rental properties may qualify for a business disaster loan.

So why might you decide to choose an SBA loan over disaster assistance?

- It can bring your home back to pre-disaster condition
-It will not require you to carry flood insurance in the future
- Higher amounts of coverage available

As you can see there are some big differences when it comes to disaster assistance and SBA loans. Know one ever wants to use these programs if they do not have to and having flood insurance is one way to do that. If you have questions about disaster assistance, SBA loans, or want to look at your flood insurance options please visit our website Flood Insurance Guru. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel or like our Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru where we do daily flood educational videos and discuss important flood issues.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Today we are talking about the confusion with disaster assistance, especially on floods. So many people believe certain things about disaster assistance that they never apply. We are going to talk about a few of those myths today.

First of all recovering from from a flood can be devastating. So disaster assistance could be crucial for a families survival. However many people are worried how will they pay it back? This is where myth one comes into play disaster assistance does not have to be paid back since it is a grant program. 

Next comes the pressure of getting debris removed after a flood. This is something else that many people do not realize that local communities can be reimbursed through the disaster assistance program for. 

A third myth and maybe one of the biggest myths on disaster assistance is if you have flood insurance you can not get disaster assistance. This simply is not true disaster assistance is there to cover things that insurance will not. One example is temporary housing after a flood many insurance policies like the National Flood Insurance Program will not cover this.

So now that we have talked a little bit about myths of flood disaster assistance we will be covering understanding the difference between disaster assistance and grants in our next blog. If you have questions about what disaster assistance covers please reach out to us Flood Insurance Guru, subscribe to our YouTube channel or like our Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru,  where we do daily flood education videos.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Flood insurance zones can sometimes be hard to figure out. What makes it even more confusing is areas that are in a high risk flood area that have never flooded. So why are these areas considered high risk flood zones? We want to talk about that a little bit.

One of the most common questions we get asked is why am I in a flood zone? Well there could be many reasons why a property is in a flood zone but we want to specifically talk about areas that have never flooded.

So lets take a home that has never flooded but is pulling up in a flood zone AE or A which is considered a special flood hazard area. Why is this? Well we must first understand two major factors that drive these flood insurance rate maps, that is historical data and probabilities.

So when FEMA and the local community decide on a flood zone for an area they are looking at many factors like a history of flooding, the base flood elevation, the probability of an area flooding, and the assumed elevation of properties.  So even though an area has not flooded before historical data from other floods could be used with the area to determine probabilities. All flood zones are just probabilities, it basically states we think this will occur in this many situations. Areas that have a 1% chance of flooding are considered high risk areas. This just means a 1 in 100 chance of an area flooding within a given year.  You must also understand that FEMA does put the opportunity out there to get flood zones changed but they would rather be conservative with these maps to make sure people are covered.  So even though your property may have never flooded the risk of it flooding is still there and that is why your bank maybe requiring flood insurance.

If you have questions about why your property is in a special flood hazard area, want to look at different flood insurance options, or even look at getting your flood zone changed please visit our website Flood Insurance Guru. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel or like our Facebook page where we do daily flood education videos.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Flooding can be devastating, it destroys properties and lives. However what follows a flood can be even more devastating. Finding resources to help with cleanup and recovery can be challenging. In some situations disaster assistance can be available and we want to talk about that means for you.

Whether you have flood insurance or not disaster assistance can be available. Residents of Muscle Shoals Alabama recently learned about this as they suffered a major flood in low risk areas. So when does disaster assistance become available? Generally disaster assistance comes available to communities and property owners after a presidential disaster declaration. So when these funds are handed out do they have to be paid back? Well when it comes to assistance it could come in two forms either through FEMA disaster assistance grants or SBA loans. Disaster assistance grants do not have to be paid back but what are the implications of accepting them?

When you ask the government for handouts of course it is going to come with conditions and we want to talk about some of those today. First of all this disaster assistance money can only be used for certain things. For example the funds can not be used to cover food losses you have incurred. These funds will not pay to bring your house back to the condition before the flood. Disaster assistance will not cover things that insurance will if you had insurance. It will cover things like temporary housing and emergency home repairs.

So if you accept this disaster assistance for help on your property what is the consequence?  Well if you are in what is called a special flood hazard area or SFHA then it could be required that you always carry flood insurance on the property. This is something to seriously consider because even after you sell the property the new owner will be required to carry flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program as long as the property. This something that the seller must disclose to the buyer, so as you can imagine this can make things more difficult when comes to reselling.

So if you have questions about disaster assistance before you apply please visit our website The Flood Insurance Guru, subscribe to our YouTube Channel, or like our Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru where we do daily flood educational videos.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Today we are talking about negotiating flood insurance premiums when purchasing a home. When purchasing a home alot of different things can be negotiated, however negotiating flood insurance premiums can be very dangerous. Let's talk about that a little bit.

You have found your dream home, then you find out its in a high risk flood zone also known as a flood zone A or AE. So you consider walking away and then the owner says it has been a problem all these years, the property has never flooded, and how rate has been this same rate for the last 10 years. So it makes you feel a little better but you are still nervous so you ask the seller if they will be willing to knock off 3-5 years of flood premium. This all sounds great but it could create a disaster.

So where does the disaster occur, well lets talking about prepaying the flood premiums for the next 3-5 years. The National Flood Insurance Program only guarantees rates for 12 months. One reason is they make updates to the program each year like they did in April of 2019.  Many times these are rate changes like the average rate increase of 8% they recently announced. So when a seller gives you these premiums as you can see it could still put you in the negative fairly quickly. Another concern is if the property has flooded before and it floods one more time it could be added to the repetitive loss property list. This could skyrocket the flood premiums and make reselling the property very difficult.

Another concern with getting premiums prepaid up front is if the flood zone changes. So lets say you go from a flood zone A to a flood zone AE then your flood insurance premiums could significantly increase. Its not uncommon to see a 25-40% rate increase when this happens.

So can flood premiums be prepaid to any flood insurance company? The answer to this question is there are a few carriers that will allow this. Many call it a two or three year rate lock. They require that the full premium be paid up front but it does guarantee these rates for certain time frame. You can learn more about this option by clicking here.

As you can see getting flood insurance premiums paid up front may not always be as good as a deal as it sounds. If you have questions about the best way to do this or other flood insurance questions you can visit our website The Flood Insurance Guru or click the button below. Also subscribe to our YouTube channel and like our Facebook page where we do our daily flood educational videos.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

During our flood insurance zone change series we have discussed what is a letter of map amendment, what is a letter of map revision, and properties under construction. In today's blog and video we are discussing what is the actual process of getting a flood zone changed and what maybe needed?

Getting a flood zone changed is not an easy or quick process but it can be easier and quicker if you follow some of the steps we will discuss today.

First of all when looking at getting completed structure removed you want to verify your flood zone by getting a zone determination done. You can reach out to The Flood Insurance guru or any insurance agent to get this done. Once you have this you will know exactly what flood zone you are in. One of the important things about understanding this is if you are in a flood zone A that does not have a base flood elevation then the next steps more than likely could be a waste of time and money. In order for a flood zone change to be considered the different elevations of a property must be measured against the base flood elevation. If there is no base flood elevation then there isn't much you can do. Once you have this determination done then it should tell you the zone type and what the base flood elevation is going to be.

The next step is to contact a surveyor to get an elevation certificate completed. When this survey is done it is going to measure several important things like the lowest adjacent grade, the highest adjacent grade, the highest floor, the lowest floor, the lowest level of servicing equipment, and a few other things. These numbers are very important and in order to get the zone change approved the lowest adjacent grade will need to be above the base flood elevation. So far above it does the structure need to be? Well that is left up to debate but we recommend a foot above the base flood elevation.
So once you have the elevation certificate in hand you will need something showing you are the owner of the property. The property deed seems to work in most situations. You can then submit these two things to FEMA for approval. FEMA will start the review process which can take thirty to ninety days. This is why we recommend working with someone like The Flood Insurance Guru who handles these requests each day.

Its important that no matter who you decide to work with that the fees charged are refundable. So let's say the zone change does not get approved then you want to make sure you can get your money back for the process or have it applied to your flood insurance policy.

If you have questions about your current flood zone, maybe how to change it, or if your rate is too high please visit our website The Flood Insurance Guru. Also make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel The Flood Insurance Guru and like our Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru where we do daily flood education videos.

You can also learn more about flood insurance zone changes by clicking the button below.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

During our flood insurance zone change series we have discussed what is a letter of map amendment and what is a letter of map revision. In today's blog and video we are discussing this same process on structures that are under construction.

When building a home its important to have a survey done before construction starts. Many times to get flood insurance during the building process FEMA will require it. This will also allow you to see how the property relates to the base flood elevation  before building. Its also important to understand with either the LOMA or LOMR process they are going to want to wait until construction is complete before approving any new flood zone changes. 

One of the reasons is that the lowest adjacent grade and the highest adjacent grade will need to be inspected by the local flood plain manager post completion. Its also important to understand when purchasing a lot to build on it is not guaranteed that the property will get removed. Its important to work with a flood insurance expert like The Flood Insurance Guru who works with local flood plain managers everyday.

Another issue that needs to be known is lets say it takes 9 months to build the structure. Then thats 9 months of flood insurance that would be nonrefundable. Since the properties flood zone would not be changed until after completion thats the soonest the flood insurance could be cancelled out.

Now that we have discussed the flood insurance zone change process on properties under construction we can talk about the actual process of getting a flood insurance zone changed. We will be discussing that in episode four  of our flood insurance zone change series. If you have questions about your current flood zone, maybe how to change it, or if your rate is too high please visit our website The Flood Insurance Guru. Also make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel The Flood Insurance Guru and like our Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru where we do daily flood education videos.

You can also learn more about flood insurance zone changes by clicking the button below.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com



Today we are discussing flood insurance zone changes. Over the course of four different flood education videos and blogs we are going to discuss different types of flood insurance zone changes. In this blog we are discussing what is a letter of map amendment?

A letter of map amendment also known as a LOMA is an official amendment, by letter, to an effective National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) map. A LOMA establishes a property''s location in relation to the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). LOMAs are usually issued because a property has been inadvertently mapped as being in the floodplain, but is actually on natural high ground above the base flood elevation.

So how do you get a LOMA done? Well there is usually a little bit of documentation that is needed. Generally you need something like a property deed that shows ownership of the property and an elevation certificate. While the elevation certificate may not be required you do need something that sows the lowest adjacent grade. An elevation certificate usually accomplishes this the quickest because it shows the different elevations of the structure as well as the lowest adjacent grade in relation to the base flood elevation.




Its also important to remember that also many times the local flood plain manager has to sign off on LOMA's. Thats why we always recommend reaching out to someone like The Flood Insurance Guru that works with these types of officials everyday. They can tell if the process is worth the time and money.

Do you have questions or think you might be in the wrong flood zone? Visit our website to find out Flood Insurance Guru, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or like our Facebook page where we do daily flood education videos. Make sure to look for our other videos and blogs that will cover other types of flood insurance zone changes.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

How do flood insurance deductibles work? What is a flood insurance deductible? How is it different from other deductibles? We are going to discuss those things today.

Before understanding how a flood insurance deductible works we must understand what is a deductible. A deductible is the amount an insured must pay before an insurance company will pay anything. All insurance policies have deductibles some maybe 0 and some maybe $25,000. Some insurance policies have multiple deductibles.

For example on auto insurance you could have three different deductibles. You may have a collision deductible, a comprehensive deductible, and an uninsured deductible covering three different types of claims. On a home policy you may have a traditional deductible and then a wind/ hail deductible. However on flood insurance deductibles are a little bit different.

When it comes to a traditional National Flood Insurance Program flood policy you have two types of coverage. You have building coverage and contents coverage. When comes to a private market policy you may have three types of coverage building, contents, and additional living expenses or business loss of use coverage. On both of these policies you have one deductible and that's it. Whether you file a building only claim, a contents only claim, or a claim for both you are still paying the same deductible.

When it comes to deductibles you want to be careful that you don't pick an extremely high deductible to save $100 a year. You want to pick a deductible you can afford. To often people have to file a claim and then take out a loan just to cover the deductible because it saved $100 a year.

Now that we understand how flood insurance deductibles work and how they are different lets make sure we answer any questions.

If you have questions about flood insurance deductibles please visit our website Flood Insurance Guru, subscribe to our YouTube channel The Flood Insurance Guru, or like our Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Today we are talking about why your flood insurance premiums and flood insurance zones maybe different from your neighbors. Flood insurance zones can easily be different from property to property. Let's discuss some reasons why this might be?

Flood insurance zones range and they are not built like a straight line, square or rectangle. Other than coastal areas high risk flood zones are generally going to follow creeks, rivers, lakes, watersheds, and other possible run off areas.  Look at the picture of a high risk flood zone below.

SARA Risk Map

As you can see from the picture above the high risk area does not follow a narrow path. As a result you can see how one property could easily be in a high risk area and another may not. Something else that has a big factor is either if a home is above the base flood elevation or if it is not. 

If you have one property with a basement and another property with a crawlspace then it could be a huge impact on flood premiums. Foundation types play a major role in flood premium, just like how a structure is positioned on land.

The lowest adjacent grade also known as LAG is the elevation of the ground, sidewalk or patio slab immediately next to the building, or deck support, after completion of the building. If the LAG is below the base flood elevation also known as the BFE then it generally removes the possibility of getting the flood zone changed. So the LAG on one property could be completely different than another property.

As you can see there can be many reasons why the flood insurance is different on your neighbors property or if it is accurate. If you have questions about flood insurance, getting flood zones changed, or would like to verify that you have the correct flood premiums then please reach out to the Flood Insurance Guru. You can visit our website, subscribe to our YouTube channel The Flood Insurance Guru or like our Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Hello, Chris Greene here with the Flood Insurance Guru and today  we're talking about what is coinsurance? is it required on flood insurance? and how does it relate to flood insurance? First of all, let's just talk a little bit about what exactly coinsurance is?

Coinsurance is a provision that is put it into many property insurance policies and it's ultimately a way for the insured, which would be the property owner, and the insurer, which would be the insurance carrier, to share responsibility for risk. It also helps reduce the cost of insurance policy premium.

Coinsurance can be written a 80/20 rule, a 90/10 rule or even 100% rule. For example, if 80% rule is in place, which generally is the majority, the insurance company is responsible for 80% and you the insured are responsible for 20% plus deductible. Now, when the 80% rule applies is let's say that you are insuring a house for $1 million or a property has got a replacement cost of $1 million and you insure it for less than $800,000. This is where the 80% coinsurance clause would kick in. So of course you would have your deductible and then you may have what's called a penalty for not caring at least 80% insurance on this property. And so instead of getting the $1 million dollars you might have replaced for or the $800,000 you had it insured for, minus your deductible.

 So you may not get but say, $500,000 or $600,000 or Whatever you have it insured at. So you are going to be paying a penalty there.

So let's talk about coinsurance when it comes to flood insurance. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, coinsurance only applies when looking at residential condo policies or condo association policies. When it comes to your traditional single home policy, coinsurance does not apply when it comes to standalone flood insurance. This same rule applies on the private market when it comes to flood insurance.

When it comes to flood insurance, flood will cover up to whatever the stated amount is. So generally with the National Flood Insurance Program, it's going to be $250,000. Well, one of the reasons why coinsurance does not apply on a national flood insurance program is they only offer up to $250,000, so if you have a $400,000 house, you couldn't insure it for 80% if you wanted to on flood through the National Flood Insurance Program.

You know, of course you'd have to take out a National Flood Insurance Program policy, then you have to take out an excess flood insurance policy on top of that to get to the $400,000 and those are two different types of policies.

So, this is one of the main reasons why on the private side, just like the National Flood Insurance program, it covers up to that stated amount. Now, private might go all the way up to $10 million, but they still don't have that coinsurance clause built in.

So this is kind of how coinsurance applies when it comes to property insurance. Is it required on flood insurance? Only on those condo association policies.

So if you've got questions about coinsurance, insuring your property the correct way when it comes to flood insurance, please visit our website FloodInsuranceGuru.com, subscribe to our YouTube channel, like our Facebook page, and also subscribe to our Flood Guru podcast. You can also give us a call (205) 451-4294. Thank you.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com


Hello, Chris Green here with the Flood Insurance Guru.  Today we're talking about saving lives using CPR. It's really important that everybody understand CPR because you never know when you're going to be able to use it. However, what's also important for people to understand is the community rating system that FEMA uses for your local community. The measures that are used in this program can save many lives like CPR can, just in a different way. So today we want to talk about what is the community rating system? How does it impact your flood insurance? How can it help lives? These are some things that we are going to talk a little bit about that today.

First of all, so the community rating system credits community efforts beyond those in minimum standards by reducing flood insurance premiums for the community's property owners. The community rating system is similar to the private insurance industry's programs that grade communities on the effectiveness of their fire suppression and building code enforcement efforts. Community rating systems discounts on flood insurance premiums range from 5% up to 45%. Based on the community rating system credit points that are awarded to communities, the discounts provide an incentive for communities to implement new flood protection activities that can help save lives and property when flood occurs.

The community rating system provides credit under 19 public information and flood planning management activities. To get credit, community officials will need to prepare documentation that verifies these efforts. The community rating system assigns credit points for each activity. To be eligible for a community rating system discount, your community must do elevation certificates. If you're a designated repetitive loss community, you must also do flood plain management planning.

Based on the total number of points your community earns, the community rating system assigns you to one of 10 classes. Your discount on flood insurance premiums is based on your class. For example, if your community earns 4500 points or more, it qualifies for class one and the property owners in special flood hazard area get a 45% discount on their insurance premiums. If your community earns as little as 500 points, it's in the class nine and property owners in the special flood hazard area get a 5% discount. If a community does not apply or fails to receive at least 500 points, it's in a class 10 and property owners get no discount, which can have a major impact on flood insurance premiums. Now, what's very important to understand is that this is not a one-time discount program. This program comes up frequently, and normally some of these discounts are done on a yearly basis. So if a community gets a discount one year, the opportunity to lose out the next year can easily happen if certain mitigation efforts are not taken or guidelines are not followed correctly.

Your community can get additional credit for regulating development outside the special flood hazard area to the same standards as development inside the special flood hazard area. There is also credit for assessing future flood conditions, including the impacts of future in development and changing weather patterns. Many communities can qualify for what the community rating system calls state-based credit based on the activities or regulations a state or regional agency implements within the communities. For example, some states have disclosure laws eligible for credit under the hazard disclosure. Any community in those states can receive a state-based credit. Your community may want to consider flood plane management activities. You should evaluate these activities for the ability to increase public safety, reduce property damage, avoid economic disruption and loss, and protect an environment. The main purpose of this program, through FEMA, on the community rating system is to minimize loss of life, minimize loss of property, and minimize environmental impact on flooding.

Now, the participation in this program is completely voluntarily, just like the National Flood Insurance Program. However, with the National Flood Insurance Program, if you do not participate, your community does not get access to disaster assistance, disaster grants,  and many other resources. 

If you've got questions about maybe if you're receiving discounts through the community rating system, you want to make sure you're maximizing these discounts, or you want to take a look to see if the private market offers more discounts compared to the community rating system, please reach out to us. Floodinsuranceguru.com is our website. Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and like our Facebook page, where we do daily flood educational videos. You can also give us a call, 205-451-4294. Thank you.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

In episode 1 of the Floodcast we discussed the goals of the podcast, what the different flood insurance zones are, and when flood insurance would be required.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Today, we're talking about the impact of air conditioners when it comes to flood insurance rates. How can air conditioners cool off your flood insurance premiums or how can air conditioners heat up your flood insurance premiums is what we're going to discuss today. When it comes to air conditioners, they can cause huge headaches when it comes to flood insurance especially in areas that are low lying like Montgomery, Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama, Des Moines, Iowa, and Atlanta, Georgia.

Whenever an air conditioner sits below the lowest adjacent grade or maybe it sits below a home outside, then many times this air conditioner can be below the base flood elevation, which is the level that FEMA believes flooding will come to before it becomes into a historic flooding area, so many times air conditioners can cause major issues when it comes to flood insurance. So, what we're going to talk about today is some things you can do to offset this.

So, when it comes to air conditioners, you always want to make sure that they're adjacent to the lowest adjacent part of your property and by that, we mean the lowest lying floor that will be considered the first-rated floor for your flood insurance. So, if you have an above-grade crawl space, then you want to make sure that air conditioner is above the crawl space area, because you will not have to count that crawl space area as your first-room floor if you have flood vents.

The reason for this is part of FEMA's requirement is they will count the lowest rate of floor or they'll count the flood zone, wherever the lowest service machinery equipment like a furnace, a water heater, or an air conditioner are located. That's why many situations by simply raising your air conditioner six inches to a foot might impact your flood insurance rates by over $1,000. Same thing on a furnace or same thing on a water heater.

These are very important things to understand, especially when you're dealing with above-grade crawl spaces and an air conditioner sitting outside. Now, this is one way where it could cool off your premiums, by getting them lowered by simply raising the air conditioner or maybe you're building a home. You want to make sure that the air conditioner sits at that same level as the rest of the house and it doesn't sit below it, because it might put your property into a high-risk flood zone, because that air conditioner is sitting below the base flood elevation, but the rest of the house isn't.

This could also prevent you from getting your flood zone changed if you're trying to go through that process, so when it comes to air conditioners and furnaces and water heaters or any servicing equipment, you want to be very cautious about where these are positioned and that's why we always recommend raising them at least six inches to a foot.

Sometimes, you may have to raise them a few feet if you're in coastal areas like Fort Myers, Florida, Panama City or Pensacola, Florida to prevent yourself from tidal wave flooding taking out air conditioners and keeping everything above the base flood elevation. They have different requirements in coastal areas, so if you've got questions about how maybe your air conditioner is impacting your flood insurance rates or you want to learn how to raise the air conditioner to maybe get your flood zone changed or get your flood insurance premiums lowered, please reach out to us.

Go to our website floodinsuranceguru.com. You can check out our Facebook page and like it or subscribe to our YouTube channel, The Flood Insurance Guru where we do daily flood education videos. You can also click the link below to learn more about how we could help you use these servicing equipment to benefit your flood insurance rates. 

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com


Today we're talking about two things everybody hates. We're talking about flood insurance and taxes. These are two subjects that everybody dreads coming up. However, today we're talking about maybe some ways that these two can actually help benefit you as a property owner. What we want to talk about is how can your taxes benefit when it comes to flood insurance or how can your flood insurance benefit. First of all, just take this as it is that we're not giving tax advice. We're just showing you some ways of how flood insurance can be used just like a normal business expense. When it comes to flood insurance on your primary residence, of course, it's not going to be able to be written off on your taxes as an expense because it's just like regular home insurance and things like that.

However, when it comes to rental properties that's a different subject there because that is considered an investment property and so things can be considered business expenses like flood insurance. So, when you're writing these things off on your taxes that might be a way for you to get some of those flood insurance premiums back that you've been having to pay throughout the year. These are how flood insurance and taxes can kind of go hand in hand. However, we always recommend reaching out to a tax expert when it comes to reviewing these things. But if you do have questions when it comes to flood insurance, maybe on your investment property, maybe on your primary residence. How could you benefit the most, get the most coverage for your premiums like business loss of use if your investment property floods, getting loss of rent and some other things like that? That's what we're here for.

If you've got questions about these things, you can always reach out to us. Our website is floodinsuranceguru.com. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel or like our Facebook page where we do daily flood education videos. You can also give us a call (205) 451-4294. Also, click the button below if you want to learn more about these subjects and see how we might be able to help you. Thank you.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Today we are talking about what is base flood elevation also known as BFE?

This is the level that FEMA or the National Flood Insurance Program feels that flooding could come to on a regular basis.

Now if flooding comes above this level it’s going to be pretty rare which would fall under the 100 year or 500 year flood zone.

So let’s just say that you are building a house when building you want to make sure that you’re above this line. The reason is the lower you go below this line the harder it will be to get insurance and the more expensive that insurance will be. Also the chances of your home or property flooding will be much higher.

So if you have questions about how exactly how the base flood elevation might be impacting your rates please reach out to us. www.floodinsuranceguru.com. Also subscribe to our YouTube Channel and like our Facebook page where we do daily flood education videos.

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Admin


Additions can add a lot of value to a home and it can also hurt a home when it comes to flood insurance. Many times the addition of a home can take a home from being in a low risk flood zone to a high risk flood zone. We are going to briefly discuss how all this happens.
 
When it comes to adding value to a home additions is an easy way to do that. However if you are not careful you could place the property into a high risk flood zone. Here is how additions and substantial improvements work when it comes to flood insurance. When either an addition or more than 40% of a property is improved within one give year then you have to use that year as the year built for flood insurance.
 
For example lets say you have a prefirm structure which is a structure built for the first flood map when the addition is put on the home you have to use whatever year the addition was put on as the year built now. This can have a huge impact as prefirm and post firm structures have different guidelines and rating models.
 
When looking at adding this addition you want to contact a surveyor to make sure that when you add the new structure it does not move the structure from a low risk flood zone to a high risk flood zone. This could lower the value of the home instead of increasing it and even making it harder to sell.

If you have questions about how a possible addition to a home could impact your flood insurance rates please reach out to The Flood Insurance guru. To learn more about flood insurance visit our website www.floodinsuranceguru.com.

Admin

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Admin



Hello Chris Greene here with the Flood Insurance Guru, and today we're talking about is flood insurance a waste of money? There are some situations where flood insurance can be a complete waste of money. Some of these situations include if you're looking for certain coverages when it comes to basements, if you're looking for certain coverages when it comes to covering a dock, and certain types of water . We've seen so many people who have taken a flood insurance policy out because they want a certain thing covered. However, they were given some misinformation and that type of loss would never be covered. Let's talk about some of those types of losses.

First of all lets discuss coverage for basements. Basement coverage can be very limited and confusing when it comes to what flood insurance covers. First of all what is a basement? The NFIP defines a basement as any area of a building with a floor that is below the natural ground level on all sides; otherwise, it is considered the first floor. The following items are covered under building coverage as long as they are connected to a power source and/or installed in their functioning location.

  • Sump pumps
  • Well water tanks and pumps, cisterns and the water in them
  • Oil tanks and the oil in them, natural gas tanks and the gas in them
  • Pumps and/or tanks used in conjunction with solar energy
  • Furnaces, hot water heaters, air conditioners and heat pumps
  • Electrical junction and circuit breaker boxes and required utility connections
  • Foundation elements
  • Stairways, staircases, elevators and dumbwaiters
  • Unpainted dry wall and ceilings, including fiberglass insulation
  • Cleanup

When it comes to personal property or contents coverage the following things are covered.

  • Clothes washers and dryers
  • Food freezers and the food in them Flood insurance does not cover basement improvements or items not necessary to make the home safe, sanitary and functional -- such as carpeting, finished walls, paint, floors, ceilings, furniture or personal belongings that may be kept in the basement. Necessary items are included under building coverage and some under contents coverage.

Now that we have discussed what flood insurance covers in a basement and what it doesn't lets talk about some different types of water losses.

There are two types of water losses we want to discuss. There is ground water and surface water. Groundwater is the water found underground in the cracks and spaces in soil, sand and rock. It is stored in and moves slowly through geologic formations of soil, sand and rocks called aquifers. Surface water is water on the surface of continents such as in a river, lake, or wetland.

When it comes to ground water being covered flood insurance is a waste of time. Flood insurance will only cover surface water that inundates two acres of land or more than one property.

So what about docks? Generally flood insurance is not going to cover docks or any structure that is over water. This would include boat houses as well. Understanding when flood insurance is going to cover something and when it is not can be tricky.
This is one of the reasons why we always recommend reaching out to a flood insurance expert like the Flood Insurance Guru.

It's very important to understand the situations when flood insurance is going to be paid out so that you're not wasting your money, like snow seeping into a basement or water seeping into a basement or groundwater coming in and you're not having any coverage, or, the drywall finishings in a basement. your A lot of things that may not be covered because the property's below grade and the National Flood Insurance program limits contents coverages there.

So if you've got questions about maybe are you wasting your money on flood insurance? You want us to take a look at it to see if it would actually be covered for a loss? Please reach out to us. Floodinsuranceguru.com, subscribe to our YouTube channel, The Flood Insurance Guru, and like our Facebook page, or just give us a call. 205-451-4294.

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Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com


Today we are discussing the Individuals and Households Program and other needs assistance. What is the program? How does it relate to flood insurance? We're going to talk about a few of those things today.

First of all, the Individuals and Households Program, also known as IHP, provides assistance to individuals and households affected by disaster to enable them to address necessary expenses and serious needs which cannot be met through other forms of disaster assistance or insurance. Forms of other needs other IHP include personal property or contents coverage, medical, dental, and funeral. Yes, the IHP does provide funeral expenses after a disaster. It also helps with those dental expenses and medical expenses.

So who's eligible for IHP? What if you had flood insurance? What if you didn't? We want to talk a little bit about that. Whether you have flood insurance or not, you're still going to have the resource of the IHP available because insurance is not going to cover everything. while the Individuals and Households Program Assistance is not designed to make you whole again, it is designed to provide some source of resource for you. Now, generally, you could get up to $30,000 through this program. However, most of the time, what's paid out is usually around a max of 8000.

So let's just talk about some conditions that make you eligible for this program. First of all, you must have losses in an area that has been declared a disaster by the President of the United States. As you may know, with flood insurance, not all flood areas have presidential disaster declarations. So if you don't have that presidential disaster declaration, then the Individuals and Households program is not going to kick into place.

You also have to have disaster related necessary expenses or serious needs. So what are some of these necessary expenses or serious needs? Well, let's talk about the National Flood Insurance Program a little bit. It generally covers the building and it covers contents coverage, but it's not going to cover additional living expenses. So some of these additional living expenses are going to be considered necessary expenses because your house is unlivable. So you've got to have somewhere else to live at the time. You may also have serious needs like medical needs if you're a diabetic or  if you have to make trips to the hospital. It can kick in and help pay for those things, pay for some of those medical bills.
That's what it's there for. The disaster caused need cannot be met through other forms of disaster assistance or insurance including a Disaster Systems Loan from the US through the Small Business Administration, also known as SBA. If you have insufficient or no insurance, as I said, once insurance is exhausted, then you could qualify for the Individuals Households Program. But you're not going to be able to qualify for it until your insurance has either been maxed out or you didn't have any.

So how do you apply for a program like this after a disaster is a little bit of what we want to talk about as well. Well, this program does have to be applied for through the Federal Emergency Management Agency's website or by contacting them. So the website for that is disasterassistance.gov. You can visit that website to learn more about applying for this program. You can also contact FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA.

So if you've got more questions about the Individuals and Households Program or you want to look at your flood insurance to make sure you do have enough insurance.  You can always reach out to us. Floodinsuranceguru.com. Also make sure to like our Facebook page and subscribe to our YouTube channels where we do these daily videos every day. Thank you. 

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

Flood insurance for mobile homes can provide its own challenges. Many people think there is only one option for flood insurance on mobile homes, but this is not true. Let's discuss what the options are, the coverages available, and what option might be best for you.

When it comes to traditional flood insurance you have two options available the National Flood Insurance Program also known as NFIP and private flood insurance. This also holds true for flood insurance on mobile homes.

As you know the foundations of mobile homes are very unique. Some are tied down, some are on a permanent foundation, and some just have an enclosure. Well this can have a major impact on flood insurance rates. Especially when it comes to the private market. If a mobile home is elevated or on a permanent foundation then private flood insurance may show better rates. Sometimes these rates might be 50% less than NFIP. Now let's talk a little bit about coverages.

There are three main coverages you want to focus on when picking out flood insurance for a mobile home. Dwelling or building coverage this will cover the actual structure. Private flood insurance may offer some higher coverages than NFIP in this area. However with a mobile home you aren't generally going to need $250,000 in building coverage. The next thing to discuss is contents coverage unlike NFIP private flood insurance will offer replacement coverage on contents. This means if your TV is destroyed you are getting what it would cost to replace it today not 5 years ago when you bought it. The last coverage we want to discuss is additional living expenses if your mobile home floods then you are going to need some where to stay. Well this is exactly why additional living expense coverage is available.

If you need help understanding the right building coverage, contents coverage, or additional living expense coverage then make sure to reach out to a flood insurance expert like The Flood Insurance Guru. They can help you understand these coverages, also if you have other flood insurance questions make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel and like our Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru. You can also reach out to us by phone 205-451-4294.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

When should flood insurance payments be made? At closing or before closing? If a flood insurance payment is late it can create some major issues with coverages.

So when should payments be made? Well it depends on who is making the payment. If the insurance agent or the insured also known as the property owner is making the payment they have 10 days to make the payment if it is a NFIP policy. If it is a title company or mortgage company that is making the payment they have 29 days to make the payment. So what happens if the payment is late?

Well let's remember first what the NFIP waiting period on flood insurance policies is? When a loan closing is involved there is no wait period but if it is not for a loan closing than it is a 30 day wait period. So let's say that the mortgage company sends in the payment on the 31st day, what happens?

Well because of the NFIP strict guidelines coverage would not start for 30 days because once payment is received after the 30th day is when the wait period starts. So what if the closing date changed?

If the closing date changed from the original date NFIP just requires a copy of the closing statement that shows what the closing date was.  So lastly when should flood insurance payments be made? Before closing or at closing? Well to avoid any coverage issues we also recommend paying it before closing even though the mortgage company may not require it. However many mortgage companies are starting to require it to avoid such coverage issues down the road.

If you have questions about flood insurance payments or maybe a lapse in coverage a payment caused you please reach out to us. Visit our website Flood Insurance Guru, subscribe to our YouTube channel or like our Facebook page where we do daily flood educational videos.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com