Do You Need Flood Insurance?
Flooding is ranked as the most common disaster in the US and the sad part is, it strikes when least expected. In the state of Alabama, flooding has taken its toll even during dry years where flash floods are a common scenario. Whether it’s a small river flood or dire hurricane, it would be in your best interest to cover your home and financial status in AL by getting a comprehensive flood insurance coverage.
Alabama Flood Facts:
To put the above into perspective, here are some few Alabama flood facts for you:
- Hurricane Katrina took its toll to the tune of over $285 million in insured damages.
- Just a few inches of flood water in a property can cost tens of thousands of dollars in repairs.
- Hurricane Ike caused roughly $355 million dollars in insured damages.
- Flooding ranks as the top most common “Act of God” disaster in Alabama.
- Only 1/3 of AL residents have a flood insurance coverage in case of emergency.
Considering the fact that AL’s coastline is prone to lengthy rains on an annual basis, it is quite unfortunate that only a 1/3 of the residents are insured against flooding. To bluntly put it, flood insurance serves as your fire extinguisher when disaster strikes – reliable and functional.
What is Flood Insurance in Alabama?
The inception of flood insurance in Alabama was as a result of a huge flooding disaster in the 60’s. The ensuing public outcry for federal assistance led to the creation of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
As part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the insurance body works at a community level mandating all municipalities within AL to engage in essential flood-abatement procedures including building and zoning requirements, so as to be eligible. In short, the flood insurance coverage is only available to communities that abide by these requirements.
While the flood insurance program is overseen by the NFIP, the policies are sold and handled by private firms. However, it is the Federal structure that sets the insurance premium prices based on a host of factors ranging from location of the residence, to the number of years the property has been in place; just to name a few.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover in Alabama?
In Alabama, residents can subscribe to two main types of flood insurance coverage;
a.) Building Coverage – if you are subscribed to a Building insurance policy, it means you are covered against repair or replacement costs on damages to the comprehensive structure. This includes repairs on flooring, electrical systems, plumbing, structural integrity damage and built-in appliances.
b.) Contents Coverage – with this type of coverage, you are belongings are protected. In short, personal belongings including clothing, electronics, appliances, furniture and jewelry are replaced in case of flooding. However, there are limitations on this type of policy – for instance; a finished basement cannot be covered in the policy.
Is Flood Insurance Required by Law in Alabama?
In Alabama, mandatory flood insurance depends on how you purchase your home. If you procure your home through a federally-regulated body or mortgage lender in an area known to be high-risk by the NFIP, it is therefore a requirement to purchase a flood policy to cover the structure. Those living in a low to medium-risk locality can qualify for a low-cost flood insurance policy ranging approximately $120 on an annual basis. However, majority of the homes along the coastal and river areas are deemed as high-risk, being that Alabama is located on a flood plain.
How Much Does a Flood Insurance Quote Cost in Alabama?
The NFIP uses a “mapping” structure to determine just how much exactly you pay for your flood insurance coverage. In a nutshell, the Federal body has a map that covers the entire US and indicates how much households should pay for a flood policy depending on the factors below;
- Building materials
- Locality of the property
- History of floods in the area
- Location pegged to flood plains
- The type of the desired coverage
It is of paramount importance to be in touch with the policy premiums of the desired insurance before putting pen to paper. Perform an inventory of your belongings if you have to, so as to estimate the comprehensive value.
How Do I Get Flood Insurance in Alabama?
Flood insurance in Alabama may seem as a daunting affair, especially if you have no one to consult with. Contact the professional insurance agents to help you determine which flood insurance policy works best for your home. We will help you file a claim or answer any questions you may have as well.