Why having flood insurance is important - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Why having flood insurance is important

Jerry Williams, Former Flood Victim Jerry Williams, Former Flood Victim
Michele Bates, State Farm Officer Manager Michele Bates, State Farm Officer Manager
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Insurance agents are busy dealing with flood claims and with calls from people wanting to know if they need flood insurance.

One insurance agent says often times people are in need of flood insurance after the flooding occurs and she hopes this information will get homeowners to be more proactive.

The flood of '94 destroyed Jerry Williams' mother's home on Swaggot Road in south Albany. She didn't have flood insurance.

"If ‘94 didn't teach you, nothing will,” said Jerry Williams.

She got it in order to rebuild her home.

"It got about six feet in the house, so you know we had to go through it and rip it out and rebuild it,” said Williams.

The recent flooding has many homeowners rethinking their coverage

"This flood has made a lot of people assess what kind of coverage they have,” said Michele Bates, State Farm Office Manager.

The flood has also kept State Farm Office Manager Michele Bates busy.

"There have been a lot of inquiries, a lot of the folks who are being affected by flood, this is nothing new to them,” said Bates.

Bates says flood damage is only covered if you have a special policy through the National Flood Insurance Program.  If you buy a home in a flood zone, you have to get a flood policy to get a mortgage.

"Most of the time when a home is in a flood zone and it's done through a mortgage company at that time there is an elevation certificate done and the flood insurance is purchased at that time,” said Bates.

If you're not required to get coverage, but you think you need it you can't get it right away.  

"Unfortunately you have a thirty day waiting period, back in 1994 when we had our big flood there was only a three day waiting period at that time,” said Bates.

Bates says the Federal Emergency Management Agency told her adjusters should be reaching out to clients who have flood damage within 24 to 48 hours. If you have questions on what you might need to do, you can find the answers by clicking here.

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