What to do when you see flooding water?

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What things impact my homeowners insurance in Anniston, Al the most?

Insurance rates are like a roller coaster some years they are down and some years they are up. There are a number of things that impact homeowners insurance in Anniston, Al. The things that generally impact it the most are the age of the house, customers claims, customers credit, and fire rating.
 
Age of your house can have a major impact on your homeowners insurance. However one way to make it less of a factor is if you have updated a few things. If you have recently updated your roof, electrical, plumbing, or heating then their could be some very large discounts out there for you.
When it comes to claims customers can sometimes be in a situation where their rates are not even affordable. In order to understand it you have to realize in most situations companies are not going to penalize you for things like wind and hail damage. Where your rate will take the hardest hit is for claims like theft, fire, and water back up. When looking at filing these claims you never want to file these types of claims unless the damage is more than 30% of your deductible.
 

It seems that lately probably the biggest factor in homeowners insurance rates is credit. While on the auto insurance side it is one of many factors, on the home insurance side it is one of about five main factors. Some companies are even starting to decline policies because of credit. So here there are two options, first check your credit report every year to make sure that it is not impacting your rates. You can also look at non credit based insurance companies, while these companies may not be as well known their rates are great, the coverage is great, and so is their financial stability.
The last of the biggest factors on homeowners insurance rates is your local fire rating.  First of all a fire rating ranges from 1 being the best to 10 being the worst. This rating is the fire departments ability to be able to respond to a call. For so long people have thought that being close to a fire hydrant was important but it really isn’t. The reason is if the fire department is volunteer, more than 5 miles away, or has a bad rating the fire hydrant is not going to do you any good. Many insurance companies will not do a policy when a fire department has a rating of a 9 or a 10. So you want to make sure you know what your local fire department rating is.
So when looking at your home insurance policy you want to keep all these factors in mind. We also recommend reaching out to a local independent insurance agency in Anniston, Al like Community First Agency (205) 451-4294. They can educate you on how to understand your insurance, how to shop for it, and how it protects you.
 
 
 
 

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Why are my flood insurance premiums so high?

Flood premiums can be extremely high in certain areas and if you are not working with the right insurance agent. You will hear most insurance agencies say flood insurance is the same no matter where you get it. While most people believe this, it simply isn’t the truth.
First of all in order to understand why your flood insurance premiums are so high you have to understand the standard special hazard flood zones. You have three basic special hazard flood zones, the V zone which is the coastal area, the AE zone which is a 100 year flood zone, and the A zone which is a 500 year flood plain. The V zone is generally going to be the highest priced zone because it is usually within a mile of the water and has the highest probability of being flooded. The other two zones are based on probability, in AE 1 out of every 100 scenarios in a given year an area will flood and A zone 1 in every 500 scenarios in a given year.
 
 

 
 
Now that you understand the basic flood zones you can understand that premiums fall into three tiers. V being the highest, then AE, and then A. This should help understand why your premiums are so high. However your premiums do not have to be high. As we mentioned before not all flood insurance is the same.
You have two basic options when purchasing flood insurance. You can purchase it through the National Flood Insurance Program which is what most people do or you can purchase it through the private market. Depending on if there is a mortgage on the property and type of loan it is private flood is almost always the better option. The reason is the flood insurance policy is being issued by a private flood insurance company and they are promising to pay out if there is a loss. The National Flood Insurance program also known as NFIP has many more regulations. They usually require photos of the property and an elevation certificate which can cost up to $500. The average difference in premium between these two types of policies can be anywhere from $1500-$2500 a year. This is why we recommend contacting an independent insurance agency like Community First Insurance Agency in Birmingham, AL (205) 451-4294. The owner holds a master’s degree in hazard mitigation and works with customers on a daily basis helping them understand the flood insurance options out there. So if your home has just recently been put into a floodplain or you are purchasing a home in a floodplain  hopefully now you know what your options are.
 

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One of the biggest mistakes home buyers make!

 
The home buying process can be a very stressful time. You are trying to get offers accepted, make sure you stay on budget, and then make sure you find the right kind of loan. However as home buyers go through that they forget to do one of the most important things and that is getting a home insurance quote before they put a contract on a house. There are a few reasons this can be beneficial. First of all it tells the homeowner what the insurance will be on the new house, this can have a major impact on the mortgage payment. This way the customer presents the offer that is best for them. Next it can have a major impact on closings costs, lets say one company quotes you $1000 on homeowners insurance and another quotes you $2000. This could be a difference of a $1000 that you pay at the closing or the seller pays. If a seller has to pay less closings costs they might be more likely to accept your offer. The third and one of the most important things is when you get a home quote from an insurance carrier they can run loss reports on a property to tell you if there have been any claims and what kind of claims. So a home inspector might be able to tell you that na roof has been replaced but the loss report might be able to tell you why.
 
When factoring in all these things and your offer has been accepted you can now move quicker through the closing process because the lender knows the home insurance premium to budget and doesn’t have to research it for you. Anytime you go through this process you should reach out to an independent insurance agency in Birmingham, Al like Community First Insurance Agency (205) 451-4294. They can give you the resources and tools you need to make the decision that is best for you and your family.
 
 

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How is my swimming pool covered by my insurance?

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