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For most consumers, there is a good bit of mystery associated with the availability of flood insurance, especially at an affordable price, for properties located within “COBRA Zones” (CBRA – Coastal Barrier Resource Area).  We feel it is important that the consumer be fully aware of the CBRA definition, as well as the impact on insurance when building in these areas.

According to www.FEMA.gov, “The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) of 1982 removed the Federal government from financial involvement associated with building and development in undeveloped portions of designated coastal barriers.”  Essentially, this act was proclaimed to discourage development in certain ecologically sensitive coastal barrier areas, both to help protect wildlife habitats and to help mitigate losses.  It removed Federal incentives to develop in these areas, and made these areas ineligible for federally subsidized flood insurance programs (i.e. the NFIP – National Flood Insurance Program).

COBRA zones are an overlay to the flood zones we’ve discussed in previous blog posts (click here to learn about flood zones).  So while a property may be located in a COBRA zone, it will also be in an X, AE, or VE flood zone.  The same lender flood insurance requirements as previously discussed will apply to these zones regardless of a COBRA overlay.  The majority of Alabama COBRA zones are located in the Fort Morgan peninsula area – neighborhoods like Kiva Dunes, Morgan Town and The Dunes are located in COBRA zones.

The difficulty for many property owners in COBRA zones is finding affordable flood coverage.  Since these areas are not eligible for NFIP coverage, insurance must be purchased through the private market at non-subsidized rates.  Lloyds of London is the largest private flood provider willing to write flood insurance in COBRA zones; SSIA just so happens to have access to some of Lloyd’s flood programs offering coverage in these areas.  Knowing your flood zone and other factors about your property are critical to knowing what coverage is required and what it may cost.  Please let SSIA know how we can help you obtain the correct coverage for your property!