The state of Alabama is no stranger to floods. In fact, even in dry years, flash floods are still likely to happen. Flooding is the #1 most common disaster in the United States since it can happen almost at any time with little to no warning. From small river floods to flood damages from hurricanes, flooding can take its toll. One very important way to protect your home and your financial well-being in AL is to have flood insurance sufficiently covering your home and belongings.
Alabama Flood Facts
- Flooding is the #1 most common natural disaster in Alabama.
- Hurricane Katrina caused over $285 million in insured damages.
- Hurricane Ike caused over $355 million in insured damages.
- Even just a few inches of water inside a home can cost tens of thousands of dollars in repairs.
- Less than one-third of AL residents have a flood insurance policy in place.
Unfortunately, Alabama's coastline is battered by rains on an almost yearly basis. Flood insurance works like a first aid kit or fire extinguisher: it's nice to have just in case, and when a disaster happens, it can come in very handy.
What is Flood Insurance in Alabama?
Flood insurance began in the 1960s after a public outcry for federal assistance to help with flood damage. In 1968, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created. This insurance, part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), works at a community level, requiring municipalities to engage in flood-abatement measures including zoning and building requirements in order to be eligible. This flood insurance is only available to communities that adopt these measures.
Although the flood insurance program is overseen by the NFIP, the policies are sold by private insurance companies. The NFIP sets the prices for flood insurance based on a number of factors, including the age of the home, its location, building materials, and much more.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover in Alabama?
Flood insurance offers subscribers two main types of coverage:
- Building coverage: Building coverage can help repair or replace damage to the home's structure, including items such as electrical systems, plumbing, flooring, built-in appliances, and structural damage.
- Contents coverage: Contents coverage can provide coverage for personal belongings such as electronics, furniture, clothing, removable appliances, and jewelry. However, there are restrictions on this coverage. A finished basement cannot be covered by flood insurance.
Is Flood Insurance Required by Law in AL?
While flood insurance isn't required for every homeowner, those that purchase homes through a federally regulated or insured lender in an area considered high-risk by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are required to purchase flood insurance to cover their home. If you live in a low or medium-risk area, you may be able to qualify for a low-cost flood insurance plan, which may be as little as around $120 a year. Alabama is located on a flood plain, so the majority of homes along the coastal and river areas will be located in a flood plain and deemed high-risk.
How Much Will a Flood Insurance Quote Be in Alabama?
Flood insurance costs are determined by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by what's termed as "Mapping." The NFIP has maps that cover the United States and show how much a flood policy may cost. The price of a flood insurance policy may depend on the following factors:
- Location of home
- Building materials
- Location in relation to flood plain
- History of floods
- Desired coverage
When considering purchasing flood insurance, be sure to be familiar with the coverage amounts you'd like to enact. This may include doing a home inventory, which includes going room-to-room in your home to get an overall value of your belongings.
How Do I Get Flood Insurance in AL?
Getting flood insurance may seem overwhelming. However, having a professional by your side will help the process be as simple as possible. Our agents are always available to help you determine which coverage is best for your individual situation, answer any questions you may have, and even help you file a claim.