Flood insurance has a waiting period! - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Flood insurance has a waiting period!

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June 15, 2006

Albany -- As another hurricane season gets underway, the Federal Emergency Management Agency wants you to be flood smart. That includes getting flood insurance from the government-run National Flood Insurance Program.

One Albany homeowner is sparing no expense when it comes to protecting her possessions and suggests you do the same. Machelle Drake is cleaning up her yard for summer. She doesn't want any unwanted animals finding homes in these leaves.

But she wouldn't trade her quiet flood-prone home by the Flint River to live on higher land. "It's very peaceful, calming, we can actually walk to the river bank. Its just peaceful, I guess it's just country living," said Machelle Drake.

This year is her family's first hurricane season in their new home, and she's sparing no expense for flood insurance. She knows the devastation such a disaster brings.  "The '94 was very saddening by my family because we had no flood insurance and we lost everything and we had to start all over again," said Drake.

Allstate insurance agent Lamar Deaver says inquiries about the National Flood Insurance Program increase this time of year. He's been showing clients these Flood Insurance Rate Maps to explain the necessity of signing up.

"Back in 94 in the flood, they allowed us to write policies and we could issue them and they could be enforced within a week, but now it takes 30 days to get a policy enforced," said Lamar Deaver.

That wait doesn't apply if you're buying a home or refinancing your mortgage. But make sure you bring in a Flood Elevation Certificate to your agent. It will help determine the best insurance for your home.

"I don't worry about the flood because if it comes again, I'll be ready," said Drake.

A flood may not happen in Machelle Drake's area, but she's made sure she's got flood insurance covered.

Rates vary depending on how at-risk your area is. Your homeowners insurance agent can help you find the best flood insurance for your home.

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