Flood insurance in Alabama can be confusing. Many insurance agents in areas like Birmingham and Montgomery want nothing to do with it and others think people may not be in a flood zone.

Birmingham, Alabama Flood Insurance

After the 2019 Alabama flooding I can't tell you how many times I spoke to someone who said their insurance agent told them they were not in a flood zone.

Yikes!

Try explaining that to someone after they lost everything to a flood. Thats exactly what happened with people in Houston Texas and residents of Nathans Estates in Muscle Schoals Alabama.

So today we are going to look at 5 things that could cause flood insurance e and o claims to happen in Alabama.

  1. Building coverage
  2. Contents coverage
  3. Proper documentation
  4. Mistakes on application
  5. Cobra zones

 

Building Coverage

One of the leading causes of e and o claims on flood insurance can be building coverage. Many agents either don't offer building coverage or don't offer replacement cost on the building in Alabama.

It's important to understand these because a policy could default to actual cash value if the 80% rule is not followed.

 

The National Flood Insurance Program generally requires either the max coverage available or 80% of the replacement cost. So for example if the replacement cost of a building is $400,000 they would require $250,000 to be on the policy.

This is also the opportunity to have excess coverage which could cover the proper replacement cost.

 

Contents Coverage

The next area is contents coverage. We see many policies that do not have contents coverage. This ultimately is up to the customer but many times we see where it was never offered. 

Imagine losing all your personal belongings and not knowing you could have had coverage for it.

You would probably be pretty upset.

Recovering from not having contents coverage can be just as hard as recovering from not having building coverage.

Proper Documentation

Proper documentation on Alabama flood insurance policies is another area where we see alot of error and omission claims occur.

In many situations if the National Flood Insurance Program or FEMA does not receive the documentation they need they will drop coverage down.

I remember speaking with an insurance agent a few months ago. They had called us on this exact issue. The carrier had submitted some documentation to them but they did not see it in their insurance agency management system.

The customers coverage was lowered from $250,000 to $25,000. A claim occurred and to the agent and insureds surprise there was not enough coverage to cover the damages.

Some of the documentation that maybe needed is a signed application by the insured and the agent. Proof of payment, possibly an elevation certificate with color photos.

A big area we see mistakes everyday on is the application. So many times we will see agents mark a home has a basement not truly understanding how FEMA defines a basement.

 

If a property does not have all four sides below ground then FEMA may not consider it a basement. Things like this could cause problems during the claim process.

COBRA Zones

Lastly is writing coverage when it's not available. One big area this happens is Cobra zones and other protected areas.

 

Just a couple of months ago we where advising an agent in Savannah Georgia and Statesboro Georgia about these guidelines. They said well it let me write it. A couple of months later FEMA cancelled the policy for underwriting. We were able to help the client find coverage through the private flood insurance market but it was a difference of about $5000.

As you can see there are alot of things to pay attention to when setting up a flood insurance policy for a client. You want to make sure you have a good process of making sure all things are done.

Maybe you just don't want to offer flood insurance in Alabama and that is fine. We work with insurance agents across the country everyday because of our educational background in flood mitigation. Click here to learn more

If you want to learn more about flood insurance make sure to visit or YouTube channel where do daily flood education videos or our podcast.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation so we are here to help you understand your flood insurance, flood risks, and mitigation 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

Today we want to answer a question we hear very often. Is flood insurance a waste of money on my Homewood Alabama property?

The video below look a little bit at flood insurance, basement homes, and if it's a waste of money.

 

Today we want to take a deeper look at Homewood Alabama properties.

 

Homewood Alabama has a lot of historic homes. Many of these homes have subgrade foundations.

 

These maybe subgrade crawlspace or basement homes.

So is purchasing flood insurance on these Homewood Alabama properties a waste of money?

You may or may not know this but flood insurance coverages are limited on basements.

The video below shows some things that are covered in basements.

 

Many people decide not to purchase flood insurance for theses properties as they do not believe water will ever reach the living area.

What many people do not think about is water pressure.

When your basement fills up with water or has water pressed against the the outside structure it can add major stress to the structure.

Eventually this pressure could cause the foundation walls to collapse causing a total loss. 

Flood damage to a basement could also cause major damage to safety systems.

These are things like a furnace, air conditioner, circuit breaker, or stair case. These are things that make the structure safe.

So is flood insurance on your Homewood Alabama a waste of money?

Not when it can do a lot more than just protecting your basement.

It's also important to understand that certain private carriers to offer some additional contents coverages on basements.

Its not uncommon to pay over $2000 a year for flood insurance on your Homewood Alabama property. It's very important to work with someone that understands all the factors that go into a flood insurance rate and a flood insurance score.

So if you have questions about flood insurance in Homewood Alabama then click here.

You can also check out our YouTube channel where we do daily flood education videos. You can also visit the podcast by clicking here.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation. This means we are here to help you understand flood education, 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