My Post (19)-1

Sorry you need an elevation certificate for us to give you a flood insurance quote in Alabama.

Have you ever heard this when shopping for flood insurance in Alabama?

I know I have heard this almost everyday.

So is it true?

Well it could be and couldn't be.

We are going to look at some scenarios to give you an understanding of when it maybe required and when it may not.

Lets look at two things

  1. National Flood Insurance Program
  2. Private flood insurance

So does the National Flood Insurance Program require an elevation certificate in Alabama?

This could depend on a few things. First thing is the flood zone. If you are in the special flood hazard area also known as the 100 year flood zone then it could be required. We are talking about the following zones.

Flood zone A

Flood zone AE

 

Flood Zone V

 

So if you are in these zones and your property was built after the first flood map then generally an elevation certificate will be required.

What if it was built before the first flood map?

Well if the property has been substantially damaged or improved then an elevation certificate could be required.

Now let's answer the question you came to this blog for.

Does Alabama private flood insurance require elevation certificates?

This is a moving target question. Some private flood insurance carriers will require an elevation certificate if it is a post firm structure and in the special flood hazard area.

Some will the more negative your elevation is below the base flood elevation. Many times carriers use this as part of their flood score. So they may decline the risk but if you have an elevation certificate they may approve the risk.

Click here to order an elevation certificate

Thankfully the majority of the time private flood insurance carriers in Alabama will not require an elevation certificate.

Maybe you have been told all flood insurance is the same?

Then it maybe time to do a flood insurance review.

So if you have further questions about elevation certificates then click here.

You can also learn more about flood insurance by visiting our YouTube channel or tuning into our podcast.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation. So we are here to help you understand your flood insurance, flood risk, 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 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

It's inauguration day in the United States. No matter who you vote for this is always a historic day in the United States.

Its the day power is transferred from one person to the next as you have one president going out and a new one coming in today. 2021 isn't just the changing of presidential power but also the changing of flood insurance.

Almost everyday we get asked when is the National Flood Insurance Program going to get out of the flood insurance game.

The answer could be never but some things have recently happened to transfer some of that power and will continue to through 2021.

In July of 2019 the FDIC ruled that banks could start accepting private flood insurance on top of the National Flood Insurance Program. This meant that many customers had an option that they did not before. However due to the National Flood Insurance Program and FEMA cancellation rules they could only change at renewal.

 

After this ruling there were still some dark areas if every loan accepted private flood insurance.

The two areas that came into question were FHA and VA loans because they are considered government loans. Sometimes getting a straight answer on VA guidelines can be difficult. Direct writers for VA loans say no but mortgage brokers for VA loans say yes many times.

 

However FHA is a little bit easier as they have clearly said no for right now. About 60 days ago FHA opened up the comment period to determine if they will accept private flood insurance.

Hopefully they will make a ruling on this in the first quarter of 2021 and allow private flood insurance to be accepted. However thats not the only change with this transfer of power happening. 

The National Flood Insurance Program is scheduled to release NFIP Risk Rating 2.0 in October of 2021.

 

If this does happen it could bring some sweeping changes to a very outdated flood program.

Some of these changes could include flood insurance rates being based on replacement cost, rates based on distance to the water, and possibly elevation certificates no longer being needed.

Currently if you live in a flood zone x or minimal risk zone it's the same rate across the country, However in the new system you mighty have a different rate in Houston Texas compared to Birmingham Alabama.

It has been said that this could cause flood insurance to be unaffordable in areas like Florida, Texas, Louisiana, and North Carolina where many flood prone properties exist.

Replacement cost on a property could also help determine rates. Currently this is only used in coastal flood zones also known as flood zone V.

 

Elevation certificates no longer being required could be huge. Currently in many situations you can't eve get a flood insurance quote through the National Flood Insurance Program without an elevation certificate.

This could also be a cost saver to property owners as elevation certificate pricing can range from $500 to $2000.

So with these changes happening in 2021 will the National Flood Insurance Program be leaving the flood insurance industry.

It looks like if this did happen it would not happen anytime soon. One reason is the National Flood Insurance Program does not even currently consider private flood insurance as continuous coverage. This is one reason why if you leave for a private policy and come back you may not have the same benefits.

The other concern is insurability for properties that have flooded multiple times. Historically it has been a challenge for these properties to get reasonable flood insurance in these areas.

As you can see there are a lot of changes that are happening with the National Flood Insurance Program and even private flood insurance. If you have further questions make sure to visit our YouTube channel where we do daily flood education videos.

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

So you are getting ready for work in the morning and you look in the mirror.

What do you see?

You see yourself

Contact Us

 

That might make you happy or it might not. Thats a different discussion for a different day.

Flood insurance mirrored policies work the same way. They have to resemble each other.

So in today's blog we want to answer a three questions

  1. What is a mirrored flood insurance policy
  2. How does it protect you?
  3. What is not included?

A mirrored flood insurance policy has to do with private flood insurance policies. We are talking about admitted companies and non admitted companies.

The video below explains what the difference is with these companies.

 

This is generally a private flood insurance policy that has to have the same parts as a standard flood policy with the National Flood Insurance Program. A few of the things we are talking about are listed below.

  1. Coverages just as broad
  2. Cancellation notice of 45 days
  3. Lawsuit period the same

So how does this mirroring protect you as a property owner?

It creates consistency when it comes to coverages and even when claims are paid out. After a claim is not the time to find out you don't have the right coverage or verbiage in your flood insurance policy.

So if you decide to go with one of these private companies it makes sure that it meets the banks requirements.

So what is not included in this mirroring. While this requirement does provide some consistency on the guidelines that must be followed, price is not one of them.

Price might be one of the biggest differences between these policies. While National Flood Insurance Program policies should be the same price no matter where you go, the same can not be said for private companies.

We have seen a big difference in pricing with private companies. Just this morning we had a customer in Johnson City Tennessee who got a $3000 flood insurance quote from one carrier but we were able to get him another option less than $1500.

So when you are looking at these options you want to think about that. Make sure to get at least 3 different private flood insurance options.

Want to know what your flood insurance options are available in areas like Johnson city Tennessee? Click here

Maybe you want to learn more about flood insurance or flood education then check out our YouTube channel.

YouTube Channel

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation. So we are here to help you understand your flood risks, flood insurance, and mitigating your property longer 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

It's the question that gets asked probably a hundred times a week. Insurance agents, property owners, and even banks want to know the answer.

Everyday we see FHA loans fall apart because of flood insurance. Many times flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program can be higher. Then you might have to pay the cost of an elevation certificate.

In 2019 FDIC made a major move in the industry when they started to allow private flood insurance.

People assumed this meant FHA would start accepting private flood insurance. However because FHA insures loans they have different guidelines they do not accept private flood insurance. As of November 2020 FHA still only allows flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, but hopefully that will be changing soon.

On November 10, 2020 FHA made an announcement they were looking at accepting private flood insurance. They opened up a 60 day comment period for people to leave comments on this possible action.

So what happens next and what will be the impacts?

 

What's Next

After this 60 day comment period FHA will look at the comments and probably make a decision by the 2nd quarter of 2021. If they decide to approve it then they would probably delay it going into effect by 6 months. This is what FDIC in 2019.

So what could the impacts be?

 

The Impact

Well if you currently have an FHA loan then these could possibly cause a major decrease in your mortgage payment. You might see a 40% rate decrease in the private market.

 

However if this is passed don't go and try to jump to the private market right away.

FEMA has strict guidelines for cancellation. Unless you are refinancing your house you may not qualify until your policy is up for renewal.

 

In 2019 we saw a lot of people lose money because of FEMA cancellation rules. Many times private carriers require payment up front and charge minimum earned premiums.

This means you might be out 25% of the money you paid for a private policy because FEMA won't let you cancel.

 

We will continue to monitor this situation and continue to educate the public as this process moves forward. If you have questions about your flood insurance options then click here.

Want to learn more about flood insurance?

Check out our YouTube channel and Podcast.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation which means we are here to help you understand 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

 

 

2020 has been a year that no one will ever forget. There are three things we want to look at in 2020 and how they could impact the future of coastal private flood insurance.

  1. Covid
  2. Social Injustice
  3. Hurricanes

 

                                                           Covid

When Covid hit in March of 2020 it caused many businesses to come to a crashing halt.

The hospitality industry has basically been non existent and you couldn't pay someone to get on a cruise ship. Airlines are barely surviving. As this happened businesses turned to their insurance companies for coverage.

However many were surprised to find out that most insurance policies don 't cover this type of disaster. Government put pressure on insurance companies to provide coverage. However its difficult to provide insurance coverage when a premium was not charged for a risk.

As these businesses started to close they started to cancel their policies. This started to impact insurance companies as businesses were no longer needing insurance for a closed business. While this was a minimum impact on the bottom line when you add the next two things it creates a major problem.

 

                                 Social Injustice

2020 has seen the rise of social injustice and unrest across many parts of the country. Portland Oregon has seen many businesses burned and even Atlanta Georgia saw businesses damaged after a man was killed in an altercation with police. 2020 was problem the first time in 50 years that you have seen moratoriums put in place by insurance companies for selling business insurance.

At one point Target had to close its Minnesota stores because of looting.

 

                                                Hurricane Season

Now onto the third maybe the biggest thing to impact insurance companies in 2020. The 2020 hurricane season was predicted to be busy but no one predicted it to be this busy. In fact NOAA has had to make several adjustments to their hurricane predictions for 2020.

As we write this blog at the end of October in 2020 we have had 27 named storms, 11 hurricanes have made landfall in the U.S. and 5 hurricanes have made landfall in Louisiana.

This ties the record for most landfalls in a year within one state. Florida set the same record in 2005.

Hurricane Sally, Marco, and Delta have all created major damage in the gulf states. In fact Delta and Sally made landfall only 15 miles a part.

Like most people in 2020 insurance companies are eating through their reserves fairly quickly and they are discovering that many of their risk models were off.

So what does this mean for coastal states like Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.

In Mississippi we are already seeing some private carriers halt business completely and we have seen this in Louisiana for a few years. Texas has also had this issue since Harvey.

We could see this pattern start to work its way towards Florida and Alabama.

Does this mean flood insurance will not be available?

No

The National Flood Insurance Program is available for properties where communities participate. It just means that the private flood insurance options could be limited for a while.

This will be a crucial time for you to work with an insurance agency that can defend your risk?

What does this mean?

This means being able to show how a risk may have changed because of mitigation efforts even if it has flooded. We see customers rejected everyday because someone did not defend their property correctly.

If you have questions about what your flood insurance are in these areas then click here. You can also check out 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 are here to help you understand your flood risks, flood insurance, and mitigating your property.

 

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

Growing up as a kid I had some cool experiences. My did was supposed to be an aerospace engineer until he had a chemistry lab accident in college. Like many of us he had to adjust his plans.

One of his first jobs out of college was building the NASA backpacks. We were all about NASA as kids. I remember watching the first night rocket launch in 1985 at Cape Canaveral. That booming sound and smell of fuel was incredible.

AdobeStock_313107338

So many years ago when the NASA shuttle program was shut down I was pretty disappointed. On May 30 2020 that all changed after a 10 year absence from space we were finally back in space with the new SpaceX program. SpaceX is basically privatizing the space program now by being the first U.S. private company to send astronauts into space.

So If Space X can do it then why can't the National Flood Insurance Program.

Why can't the National Flood Insurance Program work with a company to completely privatize the flood insurance industry like NASA did.

Well there seem to be alot of reasons, so lets discuss a few

  1. Giving everyone access
  2. Accurate risk models
  3. Accurate Pricing

As of today the National Flood Insurance Program still does not recognize private flood insurance as continuous coverage. You might have had a private flood insurance policies for years but when you sign up with the National Flood Insurance Program for a policy its like you haven't had one.

Another one of the major issues that is occurring across the United States is giving everyone access to private flood insurance. Private flood insurance companies have the right to reject a risk based on their under writing. One of the things that is a common rejection is previous flood claims.

So how do you continue to provide coverage to these properties that continue to flood?

Maybe the question should be should these properties continue to get access to flood insurance as they continue to rebuild in special flood hazard areas?

I recently talked to a property owner who has filed 7 flood insurance claims in 5 years. They stated they have received more money in flood insurance claims than they paid for the property.

As you can imagine this can throw up a major stop sign for private flood insurance companies who are trying to make a profit.

Something that is starting to really advance are risk models. Private flood insurance companies are doing a really good job of using data and technology to get more accurate risk models.

While a National Flood Insurance Program policy is based on the flood zone it doesn't truly measure the flood risk for a property.

I hear from people everyday that are shocked that a private flood insurance rate is double what a National Flood Insurance Program policy is in a minimal risk zone also called a flood zone x.

One reason is the private flood insurance company can see what the real flood risk of a property is compared to what the flood zone maybe.

One of the last things is accurate pricing. Have you ever heard the saying once you give somebody something its really hard to take it back. Trust me my 5 year old daughter found YouTube on my phone and now she always wants to find games on my phone. It's a real battle with her on this everyday as we limit these types of devices.

The same goes for the National Flood Insurance Program and subsidized rate. Certain properties in the special flood hazard area qualify for subsidized rates. These basically means FEMA is covering part of the rate.

You have many people who have taken advantage of this through the years. Especially higher end homes in coastal areas like Mexico Beach Florida which was devastated by a hurricane a few years ago.

The National Flood Insurance Program continues to push forward and is scheduled to release a new update to the program called Risk Rating 2.0 in 2021. While this will benefit many people it still is not addressing the issue of privatizing the flood insurance industry.

So as Space X continues to make history with its privatization we can only hope that one day the flood insurance industry will do the same thing.

If you have questions about what your flood insurance options are then make sure to visit our website Flood Insurance Guru. You can also check out our daily flood education videos on our YouTube channel.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation which means we can help you understand your flood risks, flood insurance, 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

Its 2020 and everyone is using google for everything. Google knows more about us than we know about ourselves.

 

I remember sitting in a college e-commerce class when google first came out. NO one took it seriously, I know I didn't or I would have bought stock in it.

So what does google have to do with flood insurance?

As we mentioned google probably has more data than any other service out there.

Private flood insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program use different resources for determining flood insurance rates.

One of the benefits of private flood insurance is the advancement in technology they use in determining flood insurance rates.

While the National Flood Insurance Program or FEMA looks at a parcel many times they can not tell if a structure is elevated or not. So you may have a structure that sits 50 feet high but FEMA still thinks it is in the special flood hazard area. This is one reason why elevation certificates are required so many times.

So what is the private flood insurance approach to this? Private flood insurance uses many tools when mapping a risk. One thing they look at to determine the rating for a risk is location. Generally google earth is used to help determine this rate.

Google earth can be a great tool when locating a property. However if you have multiple structures on a property it may try to show the wrong structure. Let's look at an example of where this might happen. Imagine you have a lake house on Smith Lake in the Cullman or Jasper Alabama or maybe Lay Lake in Shelby, or Lake Logan Martin in the Pell City area. If you live on the lake you probably have a boat house as most lake home owners do.

Color image of earth planet in space

This could cause a major impact on your flood insurance if you are not careful. As the photo below shows this boat house is much closer to the water than the main house.

Screen Shot 2020-05-15 at 1.40.32 PM

So as you can imagine you will probably pay more for private flood insurance based on location.

So what exactly can you do to make sure this is accurate?

When getting a private flood insurance quote from The Flood Insurance Guru or any insurance agent ask for a picture of the map for accuracy. What you want to look at is where the red pin drop is at. It needs to be located on the structure that you will be insuring.

 

We recently saw where it was a difference of almost $1200 a year for the property owner.

As you can see you could be overcharged for flood insurance without even realizing it. Imagine if this error occurred for multiple years that could be a lot of money out of your pocket.

So can you get some of this premium back?

Maybe or maybe not

It depends on the private flood insurance company that you are dealing with, generally it can be difficult to get flood insurance refunds on prior policies.

So maybe you think you are being over charged or want to verify that your flood insurance is accurate then make sure to click here for us to verify it for you.

You can also visit our website or YouTube channel where we do daily flood education videos.

 

Start My Flood Insurance Quote

 

 

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 most people think about flooding they normally think about areas like the coast. They don't think about inland areas like Birmingham Alabama, Huntsville Alabama, Hoover Alabama or even Montgomery Alabama. This is one reason why many times insurance agents, realtors, lenders, and property owners are not aware of the flood insurance options in Alabama.

In this blog we are going to particularly talk about private flood insurance in Alabama and everything you need to know about.

The majority of people in Alabama still think the only flood insurance option available in Alabama is through the National Flood Insurance Program.

However this simply is not the case. Private flood insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program are both available in Alabama. Private flood insurance has really made a push into Alabama in the last 10 years.

However before you start rushing to the private flood insurance market there are some things you need to know.

  1. Who qualifies?
  2. What does admitted and non admitted mean?
  3. What coverages are available?
  4. Pricing
  5. Claims process

Qualifications

So let's talk about  who qualifies for private flood insurance in Alabama?

Be Prepared sign with clouds and sky background

Almost any body can qualify for private flood insurance in Alabama except those that are on the severe repetitive loss property list.

This is a property FEMA has designated because of a certain number of flood losses within a certain time frame.

There are a few things that could disqualify you based on the private flood insurance company. For example some private flood insurance companies will not insure a property that has had any flood loss, then there are some that only restrict it within the last 5 years, and then there are some that restrict it to just none claim within the last 5 years.

Something else that could disqualify you for private flood insurance in Alabama is the type of loan you may have on a property?

FHA loans restrict flood insurance options to only the National flood insurance Program, so this is one thing that could disqualify you. While other loan types in Alabama do allow private flood insurance it still has to meet certain guidelines.

Loans Concept. Word on Folder Register of Card Index. Selective Focus.-1

In order for banks to accept private flood insurance it has to meet the U.S.C 402C. which is the private flood insurance standard of being the same as the National Flood Insurance Program.

The reason for this is because it's a different type of program.

Private flood insurance in Alabama is broken into two different categories. You have non admitted and admitted.

So whats the difference?

Admitted insurance companies are companies that are licensed to do business in a state. They have to follow certain state laws and consumers have certain protections if the company goes out of business.

Non admitted insurance companies are not licensed in a state but are still allowed to do business there. They do not have to follow the same state laws but do have other guidelines they have to follow. Consumers do not have protection if these companies go out of business. Non admitted companies can also charge different fees that admitted companies can not.

It's important to know as of 2020 Alabama does not have any admitted carriers for private flood insurance.

So what coverages are available?

 

Private Flood Insurance Coverages

Well this is where private flood insurance in Alabama can be very beneficial. Private flood insurance offers unique coverages on commercial and residential flood insurance in Alabama.

Let's look at residential flood insurance first. The National Flood Insurance Program only offers up to $250,000 on buildings and $100,000 on contents. Private flood insurance can go up into the millions on building coverage. They also offer additional living expenses so if your property floods then you would have a temporary place to stay. This can be really important if repairs take 3-6 months.

Now let's look at the commercial coverages. The National Flood Insurance Program only offers building coverage up to $500,000. As you can imagine this would not go very far on a commercial building. Private flood insurance also offers coverages into the millions here. One major thing that the National Flood Insurance Program does not offer is business interruption coverage. This is a critical coverage for a commercial flood insurance policy.

Let's look at an example of where you would use this coverage. Let's say that you own apartment complexes in Birmingham Alabama. Its been an usually wet few months and the Cahaba river starts to overflow causing water to enter the apartments.

Apartment building in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Well residents can't live in these apartments until the repairs have been done.

Let's say that 30 units are damaged and you rent them for $1000 a unit. If it takes 3 months to repair them then thats $90,000 you could be out of pocket. However a private flood insurance policy could cover this expense. As you can imagine this could send some business owners into bankruptcy.

Now that we have a good understanding on the differences in coverage lets discuss pricing.

 

Pricing

We hear from people everyday in the Birmingham and Huntsville Alabama area that all flood insurance is the same. While this technically is the case for a National Flood Insurance Program policy. This is not the case for private flood insurance. Each flood carrier looks at risk differently. The two things that most are looking at are the elevations of the building and the location to flood risk in the area. FEMA is using their outdated flood maps and private flood insurance companies are using different technologies.

Because of this its not unusual for private flood insurance in Alabama to be 40% cheaper than the National Flood Insurance Program.

So what about claims?

 

Private Flood Insurance Claims

We can talk about all the other stuff all day long. However at the end what matters is when you have a claim you are covered and its a smooth process. FEMA claims can take 6 months to a year to settle if it is a smooth process. What about private flood insurance claims?

We had a client in Centre Alabama that suffered a total flood loss in 2019 from the flooding. While this customers neighbors were still battling with FEMA after 6 months he had is private flood insurance claim settled within 60 days. Since it was a total loss they paid off the mortgage.

We had the exact same thing happen with a client in Nebraska where they settled within 60 days and everyone else was waiting on FEMA.

So before jumping into the private flood insurance market in Alabama it's important to ask the questions we have discussed today. This will help you understand the type of company you are dealing with and confident that the claims process will go smoothly.

So if you have questions about private flood insurance in Alabama then make sure to visit our website. You can also check out our daily flood education videos on our YouTube channel or Facebook page.

 

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