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Flood insurance premiums in Birmingham, Alabama just keep increasing a fast pace but why. Parts of Birmingham like Trussville, Pell City, Leeds, Moody, Pelham, And Alabaster Alabama have not seen more flooding than other parts of the country. If anything flood insurance premiums in Birmingham Alabama should be going down shouldn't they?

Everyone thinks because an area hasn't experienced flooding recently that flood insurance rates should be going down. However you have to remember just because it hasn't happened recently does not mean the risk is not there. Flooding risks are based on probabilities lets discuss the two flood zones that use these probabilities.

 

           Flood Zone A

Flood zone A are areas subject to inundation by the 1-percent-annual-chance flood event. Because detailed hydraulic analyses have not been performed, no Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) or flood depths are shown. Because of this many times flood zone A premiums can be very high.

 

          Flood Zone AE 

Flood zone AE areas subject to inundation by the 1-percent-annual-chance flood event. The big difference between these zones and A zones is the base flood elevation numbers are known.

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Why the high rates

Many of these high rates should really not be high for a few reasons. First of all many of these properties are in high risk flood zones when they should not be. Alot of these properties could be corrected with a simple survey or elevation certificate that shows how the elevations of the home compare to the base flood elevation. Just be careful before paying for an elevation certificate because in flood zone A it could be a waste of money if there is no flood elevation.

    Subsidized rates

Some of these rates are also high because FEMA subsidized flood insurance rates many years ago. They do this to make flood insurance affordable in many areas. Some of these subsidizations go away over time drastically increasing flood insurance rates.

So what can be done

Well as these subsidizations go away there is still hope with the Community Rating System these are discounts FEMA allows when communities do certain mitigation efforts to protect the community against flood hazards.

         Private flood insurance

Private flood insurance is another option that is helping alot of property owners in Birmingham Alabama. These are flood policies that are backed by private insurance companies. As a result they can pick what risks they want to insure while FEMA generally can not. So as result many times they can provide options with better coverage and rates that might be 40% less.

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Maybe your flood insurance rates just keep drastically increasing and you want to see what options are available? Visit our website Flood Insurance Guru, our YouTube channel or Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru where we do daily flood education videos.

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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