Tag flood zones

The information below was copied directly from the NFIP website on Thursday, February 8, 2018. Here is how a government shutdown could affect flood policyholders:

Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On January 22, 2018, the President signed legislation passed by both houses of Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to 11:59 pm on February 8, 2018.  The legislation also authorized FEMA to honor all policy-related transactions inadvertently accepted between January 20, 2018, and January 22, 2018.

Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on February 8, 2018.

FEMA and Congress have never failed to honor the flood insurance contracts in place with NFIP policyholders. In the unlikely event the NFIP’s authorization lapses, FEMA would still have authority to ensure the payment of valid claims with available funds. However, FEMA would stop selling and renewing policies for millions of properties in communities across the nation. Nationwide, the National Association of Realtors estimates that a lapse might impact approximately 40,000 home sale closings per month.

As affected communities recover from the devastating impacts of the 2017 hurricanes, a timely, multi-year reauthorization is critical for insured survivors and businesses. Policyholders need confidence not only that FEMA can pay flood insurance claims, but also that the NFIP will be able to sell and renew policies to help them protect against future flooding. Flood insurance – whether purchased from the NFIP or through private carriers – is the best way for Americans to financially protect themselves from losses caused by floods.

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AIUA recently announced significant changes to their homeowners insurance policies which will become affective June 1, 2016. AIUA has typically been seen as the “insurer of last resort” due to the majority of their lower premium programs being offered having an Actual Cash Value, or ACV, settlement method. An ACV settlement method means the insurance company will pay you the depreciated value of your property (home, contents) in the event of a claim. That means that many property owners would not be able to afford to pay to rebuild or repair their homes in the event of a storm because the depreciated value is so much lower than the actual cost to repair or replace. Alabama Department of Insurance Commissioner, Jim Ridling, was quoted as saying: “If you drive from here to New Orleans, you get a good view of what happens when people cannot afford to rebuild. There are still abandoned homes, slabs, blue tarps and abandoned businesses from the Mississippi border to New Orleans. I do not want that to happen in the state of Alabama when we have a storm.”

The more favorable settlement method, and that used most often sold by SSIA is the Replacement Cost Value, or RCV, settlement method. This settlement type pays you for the cost to replace your property with items of like kind in the event of a claim. Check out our quick, 2-minute video which describes the two settlement types.

The policy changes which AIUA has just announced will provide policyholders with the option of purchasing the RCV settlement method for a smaller fee than previously offered, however the coverage the AIUA policies offer is still very limited as compared the policies that can obtained through the many carriers writing coverage along the coast. SSIA’s experienced agents can walk you through the benefits of obtaining better coverage while also finding you the best rates available with an RCV settlement method. Don’t let your property go under-protected, as the cost savings you see now may come back to haunt you in the form of high deductibles or inadequate settlement payment after a storm.

Why wait until June to look at changes? Obtain a fast, free, real-time insurance quote in just 5 minutes or less with no personal information via our online quote portal: www.ssiaquote.com.

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South Shore Insurance Agency is proud to announce our recent appointment with Safeco Insurance.Safeco Insurance

Originally founded in 1923, Safeco Insurance is an industry leader, providing comprehensive personal lines insurance products, including homeowners insurance, as well as auto, boat and RV insurance, at competitive prices. SSIA is proud to offer Safeco products to our customers because they share our mission – to not just provide the best product options at the best price, but to help educate and grow with our customers as their lives and needs change.

Contact one of our agents today to learn more about insurance options with Safeco Insurance – 251.923.4463 or email them directly at admin@sshoreins.com.

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TurkeySSIA is proud to once again sponsor the Great Turkey Drive. This 2nd annual fundraiser helps us raise funds to provide a turkey and holiday meal families seeking assistance through Catholic Social Services Mobile and Baldwin Counties. And SSIA will once again MATCH every donation “turkey for turkey” until we feed every family CSS serves this holiday.

Every $15 donation received provides the following to a needy family:

  • One 10-12 lb turkey
  • 2 sides of Corn
  • 2 sides of Green Beans
  • 1 side of Stuffing
  • 1 side of Cranberry Sauce
  • 1 side of Potatoes

Commitment forms are available by clicking here. Please complete the form and return as indicated by Monday, Dec. 7th via email to anne@sshoreins.com or fax to 251.923.4464.

Cain’s Piggly Wiggly has been kind enough to provide all products purchased at cost for this year’s Turkey Drive. Please try to support them with your patronage.

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has placed more than 20,000 communities in the United States into a category of flood zones. Each community is able to participate in the agency’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), with premium rates determined by the risks of flooding. To indicate the risks in different parts of the country, FEMA has assigned a character from the alphabet to each zone.

The most hazardous flood zones are V (usually first-row, beach-front properties) and A (usually, but not always, properties near water).

V Zones

According to FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program, any building located in an A or V zone is considered to be in a Special Flood Hazard Area, and is lower than the Base Flood Elevation. V zones are the most hazardous of the Special Flood Hazard Areas. V zones generally include the first row of beachfront properties. The hazards in these areas are increased because of wave velocity – hence the V designation. Flood insurance is mandatory in V zone areas.

Living in a V Zone

If your home is in a “V” zone (this includes VE and V-1-V-30), adhere to the following recommendations:

  • • The bottom of the lowest horizontal structural member of the lowest floor elevation must be at or above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).
  • • Enclosed areas below the lowest floor cannot be used for living space. The building must be elevated on piles, piers, posts or column foundation.
  • • Electrical, heating ventilation, plumbing, air conditioning equipment and other service facilities must be elevated to or above the BFE.

A Zones

A zones – the next most volatile of the Special Flood Hazard Areas – are subject to rising waters and are usually near a lake, river, stream or other body of water. Flood insurance is mandatory in all A zones because of the high potential of flooding. A-zone maps also include AE, AH, AO, AR and A99 designations, all having the same rates. The different A zones are named depending on the way in which they might be flooded.

Living in an A Zone

If your home is in an A zone (includes AE, A1-A30, AH, AO, AR) follow these important recommendations:

  • • Enclosed areas below the lowest floor cannot be used for living space.
  • • Electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, air conditioning equipment and other service facilities must be elevated to or above the BFE.

Other Zones

  • • X zones are minimal-risk areas where flood insurance is not mandatory.
  • • D zones are areas that have not been studied, but where flooding is possible.

Finding Your Zone Information

There are several ways to find out which zone applies to you. You can determine your risk online by visiting floodsmart.gov. You can also go to your town hall or city hall, where employees responsible for issuing building permits in your area have access to flood zone maps. If you are buying a home, your Realtor and your insurance agent should be able to help you. Also, you can view your flood map by visiting the FEMA Map Service Center website at http://msc.fema.gov or by calling (800) 358-9616.

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