If I had a dime for every time I was asked the question how much flood insurance cost in San Antonio Texas I might just own a private island.

It's a valid question of course you want to know how much flood insurance is going to cost on your San Antonio Texas property.

The problem is that there is no simple answer. There are many things that can impact the cost of flood insurance in San Antonio Texas. Two things we want to look at are

  1. Location
  2. Elevation

Location is a driving factor of flood insurance cost in San Antonio. Whether you are located in a special flood hazard area or not can be a big price difference.

If you are lucky enough to be in the minimal risk zone also called flood zone x then you may have access to preferred rates.

So what is a flood zone x in San Antonio Texas?

 

As mentioned above this is an area that FEMA has determined to be in a minimal risk area. This means that the chance of flooding should be lower than the special flood hazard area. However the recent study by the first street foundation shows us that the risk for flooding is still there. San Antonio is in their top 20 list of cities with the greatest number of properties at substantial risk for flooding.

If you live in Texas then you know minimal risk doesn't mean no risk. Just look at hill country areas like Wimberly Texas and the flooding they have been through the last 5 years.

 

So what about the second factor elevation?

Elevation can play a major role in flood insurance cost in San Antonio. Something we want to pay attention to is base flood elevation.

So what is base flood elevation in San Antonio Texas?

 

According to FEMA base flood elevation is the elevation of surface water resulting from a flood that has a 1% chance of equaling or exceeding the level in any given year.

So the further you are below the base flood elevation the higher your rates through the National Flood Insurance Program could be. The further above the base flood elevation the lower your cost could be.

Are all flood insurance rates based on this? These are some of the factors that the National Flood Insurance Program uses for their rates.

Private flood insurance carriers may use these factors combined with other factors. In fact some private carriers even look at 20 year flood plains.

What are 20 year flood plains?

 

In many situations private flood insurance could be half the cost of the National Flood Insurance Program in San Antonio Texas.

Its also important to know that your loan type could determine if you qualify for private flood insurance.

 

Many government backed loans require property owners to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Past claims could also determine if you qualify.

If you want to see if you qualify for private flood insurance then click here.

So as we mentioned at the beginning determining flood insurance cost in San Antonio Texas can be a complex answer.

The good news is we have an educational background in flood mitigation so we are here to help you understand the answer, understand your flood risks, and flood insurance.

If you want to learn more about flood insurance, flood education, and flood zone changes you can check out our YouTube channel where we do daily flood education videos. You can also checkout our podcast.

 

Contact Us

 

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 Zones Huntsville Alabama

Huntsville Alabama is an area that is rapidly growing and always having flood zones changed.

We hear from people in areas like Madison Alabama or Owens Cross Roads Alabama. Why I am in a flood zone I wasn't last year.

Before we give an explanation of that remember everyone is in a flood zone and we will discuss flood zones in Huntsville Alabama in just a minute.

There are a couple of reasons why you might be notified that your Huntsville property is now in a special flood hazard area.

  1. Bank change
  2. Map change

Its not uncommon for when your mortgage is sold that your new bank pulls information that maybe your old bank didn't have before. We see it with small and large banks in Alabama everyday.

Many times banks or mortgage companies use different 3rd parties to verify this information. We have even seen where a bank had the wrong flood zone for more than 7 years.

So what can you do to fight the bank on the flood insurance. Unfortunately these banks are federally regulated so there are only ways to get this removed. You could order a letter of determination review which can take about 45-60 days to get back and there is usually a small charge.

The 2nd option is to appeal the flood zone. This is done through the letter of map amendment process. While it may not be required getting an elevation certificate is usually the best route here.

You can order one by clicking here.

This will tell you the different elevations of your property compared to the base flood elevation. FEMA looks at this to decide if you qualify for this letter of map amendment. You can also contact us to do a deeper review of this. This process still takes 30-60 days to get approved in the Huntsville Alabama area.

Now lets look at that 2nd reason why you might have been notified your property is in the special flood hazard area.

FEMA is always working with Huntsville Alabama communities on updating flood zones. When these zones have been agreed on by FEMA and the communities then flood zones are updated.

This process is called newly mapped areas. These are areas of Huntsville that go from a low risk area to a high risk area. The National Flood Insurance Program offers special rates to Huntsville residents for 12 months after this happens.

Now that we have discussed a few reasons why this might happen lets look at these flood zones.

                               Flood Zones in Huntsville Alabama

There are three flood zones in the Huntsville Alabama area that we want to discuss.

  1. Flood zone X
  2. Flood Zone A
  3. Flood Zone AE

Lets discuss flood zone x and the Huntsville Alabama area. The majority of the area falls within flood zone x. This is considered to be a minimal risk zone.

 

So is flood insurance required in flood zone x in Huntsville Alabama?

While it's not required it is recommended. If a property is in a flood zone x the bank is generally not going to require it unless maybe the property has flooded before.

So can these areas of Huntsville still flood?

Yes that is why it is recommended to buy flood insurance in Huntsville Alabama. These areas usually have the best rates on flood insurance because they are in preferred flood zones.

The residents of Muscle Shoals Alabama learned this lesson the hard way in 2019. Nathans Estates in Muscle Shoals Alabama was completely under water in early 2019 and it was in a flood zone.

So then what flood zones in Huntsville Alabama do require flood insurance?

The next two zones fall within the special flood hazard area. These are the areas that are at high risk of flooding according to FEMA and where banks will require flood insurance.

The first one is flood zone A.

So what is flood zone A?

 

Flood zone a is an area that falls within the 1% chance of flooding. Flood zone A many times has not had flood insurance study report done. This means it may not have a base flood elevation.

The video below explains flood zone A a little bit better.

 

The base flood elevation is the area FEMA thinks flood waters could come up to.

The other flood zone in the Huntsville Alabama area is flood zone AE

So what is flood zone AE?

 

Like flood zone A flood zone AE is also part of the special flood hazard area. The big difference here is that AE generally has a base flood elevation to compare the risk to. 

So the three main flood zones to Know in Huntsville Alabama are flood zone X, flood zone A, and Flood Zone AE.

If you want to check your flood zone you can click here.

If you have further questions about flood zones or flood insurance options in Huntsville Alabama then click here. We will be happy to review these with you.

You can also checkout our daily flood education videos on our YouTube channel or even check out our podcast.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation. These means we are here to help understand your flood risks, flood insurance, and mitigating your property long term.

 

Contact Us

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 rates can be all over the board. Someone might have a rate of $450 in Birmingham Alabama then someone might have a rate of $2000 in Tuscaloosa Alabama.

So how much is too much for flood insurance in Alabama?

Well before we can really answer that question we need to look at some factors that can impact flood insurance in Alabama.

  1. Elevation
  2. Foundation
  3. Type of Coverage

So lets take a brief look at some things above that can impact flood insurance in places like Tuscaloosa, Pell City, Demopolis, Huntsville, and Birmingham Alabama.

Elevation plays a major role in flood insurance rates. As you can see with the photo below. The further your property is below the base flood elevation the higher your flood insurance premiums can be.

So the rate for a property that is negative -1 foot and a property that is -3 feet could be hundreds of dollars.

Now lets look at foundation types. Your foundation type could play a major role on your flood insurance premiums. Alabama homes are known for having basements which could cause many homes to have a more negative number on their elevation.

Homes with above grade crawlspaces could have an advantage if they have flood vents installed properly. If these things are down properly this may not count as your lowest rated floor. So while the elevation of the crawlspace might be -1 but the next floor is +2 this could serve as a great benefit to the premiums on a flood insurance policy.

Lets look at the 3rd factor which is the type of coverage. This could go a few ways whether you are using the property for commercial or residential use. Then there is the factor if it is considered to be residential or a non residential building.

Remember in order for a commercial property to be considered residential 75% of the living space has to be used for residential purposes.

As you can see there can be alot of different factors.

So lets get back to the question how much is too much for flood insurance in Alabama?

It depends if we are talking about the National Flood Insurance Program or a private flood insurance policy in Alabama. While all the rates with the National Flood Insurance Program should be the same many times lack of knowledge on the insurance agents part could cause you to see a difference.

On the private flood insurance side each carrier sets their rates based on the underwriting factors they use to insure a property.

These can be different from FEMA for example some companies will not insure properties in the 20 year flood plain or properties that are in the flood way.

Want to know what a floodway is?

 

So at the end of the day whether you decide to go with the National Flood Insurance Program or a private flood insurance policy its all about what your budget is and what you feel comfortable paying each year. Its also important to understand that these rates can go up from year to year.

So if you have further questions about flood insurance rates in Alabama then make sure to click here.

You can also checkout our YouTube channel where we do daily flood education videos. You can also check out our podcast.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation this means we can help you understand your flood insurance, flood risk, and mitigating your property long term.

 

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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

I have spent the last 4 days camping with my family. My daughter is approaching her 5th birthday and she had the time of her life. While I was away it allowed me to reset a little bit. 101409834_10163441922635368_6499435779809345536_n

When I do this I like to sit back and think about things and even do a little bit of research.

As I am doing this I notice a lot kids riding bikes around without parents. I guess the parents assume they are in a campground so the kids are safe. I probably had two or three kids jump out in front of me when I was driving.

This got me thinking about hurricane seasons we had a few years ago. We went a good while without a major hurricane making landfall. When one did it it was bad. It very well could have been because we felt comfortable and let our guard down.

The upcoming hurricane season starts today June 1st.

It looks as though there will be a 3rd named storm this week which is a lot this early in the season.

In fact the last time it happened was 2017 when the United States saw some of its most devastating hurricanes in history.

Let's take a look at the 2017 hurricane season. That year there were 17 named storms, 10 of which were major hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes.

Harvey hit Houston Texas becoming the most destructive hurricane in local history there.

So does 2020 spell disaster as well?

Maybe NOAA is predicted 13 to 19 named storms for 2020. 6 to 10 of these will be hurricanes and 3 are expected to be major hurricanes.

 

2017 Hurricane Season  # of named storms # of Hurricanes # of Major Hurricanes
  17 10 6
2020 Hurricane Season Prediction 13 to 19 6 to 10 3

 

It could you see just like 2017 the 2020 season has been active even before the season began as a result of the jet stream dipping down to the South. This is helping tropical systems develop much quicker. 2017 had its first storm develop in April which is extremely early. 2017 was also the first time in 12 years that a major hurricane made landfall in the United States.

Not having a major hurricane make landfall for 12 years can lead a lot of people to not adequately prepare. Like they say all wounds heal with time and sometimes we forget how abad that wound hurt.

Hopefully one thing that we can learn from the 2017 season is always being prepared and understand the threat of inland flooding hurricanes can create.

Having the right flood insurance in place is very important. Its also important to understand that everyone is at risk of flooding whether its a low, moderate, or high risk.

If you have further questions about hurricane season or how to obtain flood insurance make sure to click here.

You can also check out our YouTube channel where we do daily education videos or even listen to our podcast.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation so we can help you understand your flood insurance, flood risks, and mitigating your property against flooding.

 

Contact Us

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

 

action flood photo

Disasters can impact businesses and peoples lives in many ways, it doesn't even have to be a major disaster for things to be impacted. As a business owner many times you have many more people to think about than your own family.

Through the years we have seen a wide range of disasters strike the United States.  Natural disasters through the years, Terrorists attacks in 2001, and now a pandemic in 2020.

 

 

We are going to have a series of blogs that address what you can be doing during this terrible pandemic to help your business and individuals.

We will discuss the four core areas of disaster planning

  1. Disaster preparedness
  2. Disaster response
  3. Disaster recovery
  4. Disaster mitigation

 

In 2011 when the United States was hit with a terrorist attacks it basically shut the entire country down for a short while. Air travel was completely grounded for the first time ever, Stocks plummeted, and businesses were hurting. This was the first time a terrorist attack disaster of this level had occurred in the United States.


The same thing is currently occurring with the Coronavirus pandemic in the United States. You have a service industry that has basically been shutdown for a minimum period of at least 6 weeks. This will cause many businesses to go out of business and force many individuals into bankruptcy. You could see unemployment claims at an all time high.

So what can be done or what could have we done as business owners to help prepare for these things?

First of all let's make one thing clear no one could have fully prepared their business or individual life for what the Coronavirus is currently doing to the United States economy and world economy.

Being a small business owner I know these are uncertain times and you have to manage the best way you can.

One way is through disaster preparedness. The purpose of preparedness is to hopefully have the things in place that you never have to use. Whether we are talking about the flooding in Tulsa Oklahoma, Nashville Tennessee, Knoxville Tennessee or the Coronavirus the first step is preparedness.

Having a disaster preparedness plan in place can go along way to minimize the impact that a disaster has on your business. There are two things we want to talk about that should be part of this place.

  1. Insurance coverage
  2. 3-6 month emergency fund
  3. Business adaptation  plan

Insurance coverage can be a first line of defense to protecting a business and preparing for a disaster. Let's look at the flooding that occurred in the midwest in 2019. You had areas in Iowa, Nebraska, and Oklahoma that were hit with one flood after another closing many businesses.

So how could insurance help protect a business in this scenario?

In this situation the right commercial flood policy could go along way in protecting you. If you own the building it could help repair or replace the building. If you have large amounts of inventory that was destroyed it could help replace it.

So what if your business could not open back up for a while?

How could you possibly cover expenses if you can't generate income? This is where loss of income comes into play. This coverage could help cover those expenses while your business can't generate income.

So how much coverage do you need?

We normally recommend keeping 6 months of expenses on your flood insurance policy for this.

So while having insurance is great certain coverages may not always be available.

This why we recommend having a business emergency fund as part of your disaster preparedness plan. The emergency fund could help cover your expenses like payroll for a short period of time. Being a new business owner it can be hard to save this kind of money, because you are putting everything into the business.

When possible its recommended that you put a minimum of 10% of the business income into this plan. Some people recommend putting more but as new small business owners every dime counts.

Business emergency funds can also play a major role in helping lower stress during these disaster times. One reason is it can be the difference between going out of business and staying in business.

Adapting to and preparing for changes in business is crucial. In 2020 many businesses have already shown us that they don't have the ability to adapt to major changes. One of these changes that many businesses have faced is shifting their workforce to work from home. Working from home will not work for every industry. For example it just would not work for the food industry. However many businesses in the food industry have shown us their ability to adapt to rapid changes in a crisis environment. Many food establishments that were traditional sit down places have now shifted to curbside and delivery services. This ability to be able to adapt to some of these changes will be why many businesses continue to grow in such a difficult environment. 

Businessman showing computer screen to coworkers in creative office

Remember a plan is not any good if it is not put in action or practiced. Ever seen kindergarten kids do a fire drill for the first time? Its pretty rough

This is exactly what could happen to your organization if this plan is not rehearsed. Maybe it's having people work from home once a quarter to make sure they have a set up that would work. Maybe as a restaurant owner its making sure that your kitchen staff can handle dine in orders and curbside delivery services.

We have talked about some recommendations on how to prepare a business for potential disasters. Maybe you have more questions about disaster plans or flood insurance for your business. Then make sure to visit our website for more information. You can also check out our daily flood education videos on our YouTube channel.

 

Contact Us

 

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