Lack of insurance can make flood damage even more challenging

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Flooding this week caused significant damage across Alabama, and for those who don’t have flood insurance, the challenges of overcoming the problems are even more difficult.

According to Mark Fowler, deputy commissioner of the Alabama Department of Insurance, renters insurance and homeowners insurance don’t always include flood protection. And the damage can be costly to repair. Fowler said an inch of water in your home could cause up to $25,000 in damage.

“If you’re in a 100-year flood plain, you’re 27 times more likely to have a flood disaster than a fire over the 30-year life of your mortgage,” Fowler said. “And it can be terribly damaging.”

That’s why Fowler recommends talking to your insurance agent about flood insurance whether you live in a floodplain or not.

“We’re asked all the time here at the department if you should have flood insurance,” he said. “And we answer it very simply: we say if it rains on your house, you should have flood insurance. So we encourage folks to talk to their agents and see what their options are.”

The National Flood Insurance Program is an option, but the Alabama Department of Insurance is also encouraging property and casualty companies to offer private flood insurance. Fowler said about 39 companies in the state have done so over the last year, but the department wants to see even more.

“You may have a private option if you talk to your agent,” he said. “So we would encourage you to do that because it’s very possible private flood insurance could be more affordable and give you more coverage. So be sure to talk to your agent about that, see if that’s an option for you.”

The Alabama Department of Insurance has resources to help with the claims process in the aftermath of a storm.

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