The Flood Insurance Guru Blog
Traditionally flooding in coastal areas has caused widespread deaths and damage. Many times in the after math people do not know where to turn for assistance when it comes to skyrocketing flood insurance premiums.
First of all flood insurance premiums are based off of maps that FEMA approves. These maps are generally updated every few years and often after recent flooding events. In recent years certain parts of coastal Georgia have experience major flooding like they never have before. Because of where the coast of Georgia is located it has been fortunate enough in the past to have limited damage from hurricanes.
However the last few years the Georgia coast has not been as lucky and has suffered major flood damage in back to back years. As a result people are not sure where to turn when it comes to lowering their flood premiums or putting flood insurance in place for the first time.
Community First Agency specializes in helping people understand flood insurance in areas like Saint Simons, Brunswick, Tybee Island, and Savannah Georgia. Over the last year there have been many changes to the flood maps in these areas. As a result many people are able to cut their premiums in half. So it is very important to shop your flood insurance each year to see if your map has been updated. You can click here to see if your map has been updated. You can also contact a flood insurance specialist like Chris Greene with Community First Agency by clicking here or calling 770-464-5024.
Floods can be scary and protecting yourself from their damage can be even scarier. Understand your flood insurance options in the Augusta area is crucial to make sure you have right coverage. The Savannah river and the many creeks in the area cause major concern for flooding in Columbia and Richmond counties.
When looking at the risk of flooding, one thing that is a major factor is the history of flooding in an area. The Augusta area had major flooding in the early 90's. As a result many areas that were in low risk areas where flooded that had never had any issues before. So in looking at your flood insurance coverages its important to work with an expert that not only understands the history of flooding in area, the risk of flooding in different zones, but also the exact kind of coverages that need to be listed on a policy.
In looking at understanding all this information you need to know you have more options than just the National Flood Insurance program's rating. One option is if your home was built after the mid 1980's you maybe able to have your home grandfathered to a better zone giving you a better rating. You may have access to the private flood insurance market that can be up to 50% less than the National Flood Insurance Program. We recommend working with someone that has a background in hazard mitigation or flood mitigation. One particular expert is Community First Agency in Augusta, Ga. They specialize in teaching homeowners and business owners what their flood insurance options are.
Floods have really became a major concern across the country over the last year. Especially with low risk areas like Houston, Texas flooding. Many rivers across the country like the Tennessee river in Nashville, TN and Huntsville, AL have caused concerns for residents that normally would have never thought about flooding before.
One of the reasons for these floods have been large amounts of rainfall in a short period of time, and mismanagement of watersheds by local governments. Areas that normally would not have any chance of flooding are starting to flood on a regular basis. So it is very important to understand what type of flood zone you are in, what the chances are of it flooding, what you're options are, and how you can protect yourself.
If you want to learn more about your flood insurance options contact a flood expert like Community First Agency in Huntsville, AL or Nashville, TN. They can show you all the possible options out there.
Flooding can be devastating and in order to protect ourselves we have to understand it. Flooding can occur for many reasons and many of these reasons can be predictable. Some of these reasons maybe large amounts of rain from a hurricane. Some of the other reasons that many people don't think about are thunderstorms that quickly pop up and management of drainage systems.
In looking at recent flooding in areas like Vestavia and Birmingham Al most damage occurred for these exact two reasons. A large amount of rain fell in a short amount of time as a result of an afternoon thunderstorm. The next thing that caused this flooding was the mismanagement of the drainage system. Especially during late fall leaves can fall very quickly and if they are not removed they can clog drainage systems. So when these large amount of rain falls it has nowhere to go. This is why one of the best preventive steps to preventing flood is managing drainage systems.
This also applies to our homes by simply monitoring our gutters and run off water we can prevent a lot of damage that would occur from flooding. If you want to learn about other preventive measures or your options on flood insurance then contact Community First Agency in Birmingham Al.
Generally most people are familiar with flood insurance if you live on the coast. However once you get outside this area the education and awareness for flood insurance drastically drops. So we are briefly going to discuss the main flood zones outside this area and what your options are.
The first thing we want to do is look at the three main flood zones. We have flood zone AE, A, and X. These zones are based on the probability of a flood occurring. The first zone AE is a 100 year flood zone this means these areas have a 1% chance of flooding every year. The next zone A is a 500 year flood zone which means it has a 0.2% chance of flooding each year. The last zone is a flood zone X which is a minimal risk area.
Now that we know the types of zones we want to look at the options for flood insurance. The first option that most people are aware of is the National Flood Insurance Program also known as NFIP. This program is managed by the federal government and is the most popular program. However the reason it is the most popular is most people are not aware of the other options. Once other option is going through private company flood insurance. This option can be up to 70% less because they can pick and choose the risks they take. The next option is getting the property placed in a different zone based on what is on the elevation certificate. One of the last options is looking at the year the home was built and when the first flood map is to see if it is possible to get it grandfathered to the original zone.
Sometimes understanding all of this can be overwhelming. That's why we recommend contacting an independent insurance agent that holds a degree in flood mitigation. You can contact Community First Agency in Birmingham, Atlanta, Augusta, and Nashville at (205) 451-4294.
Here are some of the most common areas when someone would need an umbrella policy.
Someone gets injured on your property
You are held at fault in an auto accident
You are held responsible for someone getting injured.
A home owners insurance policy has many different coverages. The basic coverages to look for are the dwelling coverage, the other structures coverage, the personal property coverage, the loss of use coverage, the liability coverage, and the medical payments coverage.
The area that we are going to look at is the liability and medical payments coverage. These two coverages work together to give the home owner coverage if someone was to get hurt on their property. The liability portion covers bigger things like dog bites, and major injuries. Medical payments covers smaller things like someone trips and hurts their knees. A good way to tell the difference is liability usually includes injuries that involve hospitals and courts.
Now that we understand this coverage we can talk about a few things that are generally not covered. If someone is injured on your property while performing work for you they usually are not covered. Another area where coverage usually does not extend is if a family member is hurt on the property.
This particular coverage on the home insurance policy is probably the least talked about coverage, the most needed coverage, and the most cost effective coverage. The amount of coverage usually ranges from $100,000, $300,000, $500,000, and $1,000,000. The cost averages about $50 a year difference between the lowest coverage and the highest coverage. At Community First Agency we usually do not recommend anything below $500,000.
So the next time you review your insurance contact Community First Agency in Birmingham, AL at (205) 451-4294 for a better understanding of what is covered.
Customers have been telling us lately that they do not need flood insurance if their home is paid for. This is an extremely dangerous scenario. You see one of your biggest assets is your home, its one of few things that can appreciate very quickly in a good market. So in looking at if you need flood insurance, there is one great example we can review.
Lets take a look at the market crash of 2008. As most people know 401k's took the hardest hit in this year costing many people retirement and forcing them to work for many more years. What if there had been some kind of protection in place that would have stopped this. This protection you would have bought immediately, then why would you not keep flood insurance on an appreciating asset like a home. You see lets say a flood comes in washes out your $200,000 home. You have no coverage in place so you walk a way without anything. You have now lost $200,000. However lets say that you had a private flood insurance policy in place for $800 a year for the last twenty years. Instead of losing that $200,000 you know have $184,000. This is one of the easiest ways to protect your wealth. If you are trying to decide if you have the right protection in Birmingham, Al then contact Chris Greene at Community First Agency.