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If the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t enough to cause deep concerns to everyone in the South, news comes that this spring is likely to cause a lot of flood damage in the Northern Plains, the Upper Midwest, and especially in the Deep South. While the season isn’t expected to be as bad as 2019 (one of the worst in a long time), any flood damage can mean homeowners and property owners need to vacate their homes and businesses while necessary repairs are made.

The Deep South is especially vulnerable to flooding this year. Many cities in the South already have about 30 inches of rain, per the Washington Post. “The National Weather Service is forecasting moderate flooding over larger areas of Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.”

The heavy rainfalls are expected to hit farmers especially hard. In Alabama, there have already been school closures due to the heavy rain accumulation. The March 19th story doesn’t even begin to factor in how difficult flood damage will be to handle in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the director of the National Water Center in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, “moderate flooding means some inundation of roads.” Heavy flooding starts to affect structures. Mary Erickson, deputy director of the National Weather Service, stated that, “Flooding can cause more damage than any other weather-related event.” “It’s an underrated killer … causing more than 100 deaths a year, half in vehicles.”

The Montgomery Advertiser, on April 21, 2010 confirmed the severity of heavy rainfall in the spring of 2020. On a recent Sunday, Montgomery Alabama had 3.01 inches of rain. The average for the entire month of April is 4 inches. For the year 2020, Montgomery’s rainfall has been 8 inches above the norm – and another severe rainfall event is expected shortly.

The benefits of flood insurance

Generally, property insurance and business interruption insurance do not cover damage due to flooding. Most standard property policies specifically exclude flood coverage. Homeowners and business owners (profit and non-profit) must purchase separate flood insurance.

Flood insurance for homeowners who live in flood plains is normally required by the lenders. Flood insurance is an option for all homeowners and business owners. It is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program. Flood insurance through the NFIP is generally purchased through an insurance agent. It is usually offered only to communities which participate in the NFIP. Just one inch of flooding can cost about $27,000 in damages.

Flood damage coverage for business should include:

  • The building and its foundation
  • Electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling systems; and walk-in freezers
  • Damage to the contents – fixtures, machinery, furniture, equipment, inventory, and improvements
  • Compliance costs up to a preset limit

Flood insurance generally covers the actual cash value (factoring in depreciation) and not the cost of replacement.

An experienced flood insurance claim attorney can review your insurance needs before floods and other disasters occur. He can also help property owners obtain the amounts they deserve, under the policy terms, after a disaster happens. To understand your insurance rights, how to process your claim, what damages, including hidden damages exist, and all aspects of your insurance claim, call Warhurst Law at 251.207.1296 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. Our home, business, and flood insurance lawyers represent residential, commercial, and nonprofit policy owners throughout the Southeast including Alabama, the Florida panhandle, and Louisiana.

* Warhurst Law cannot and does not guarantee an outcome to any case.

 

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