Alabama's location near the Gulf Coast places it at risk from tropical storms and hurricanes, as well as a number of other potential weather disasters. As a homeowner in Alabama, protecting your property and valuables with an insurance policy is a good idea. If you have a mortgage, it also satisfies your lender's requirements. The State of Alabama does not require home insurance. However, the state does monitor policies to make sure insurance companies are providing fair coverage and rates to you.
Comparing Alabama Home Insurance Rates
Home insurance in Alabama differs depending on where you live. In general, your home insurance will cover:
- Structures on your property
- Personal property in your home
- Your personal liability
- Medical payments for others accidentally hurt on your property
- Additional living expenses if you must rent a place to live due to repairs on your home
Things that home insurance does not cover include floods, earthquakes, landslides, mudslides, sewer backups, and septic tank backups. You can get separate coverage for some of these events if your home is in danger.
If you live in the Gulf Coast area of Alabama, you'll need to consider flood insurance, which is only available through the government. You'll also need to look at your policy to make sure you have coverage for wind-related damage. Both flooding and wind damage occur in this area from hurricanes. Hurricane season is from June to November each year.
Your rate may also take into account whether you have storm shutters, the age of your roof, and what building code your home meets. Upgrading your home to current codes can help you save some money on your insurance.
Sadly, the out-of-pocket expense of upgrading may not be worth it. Ask your insurance company for two quotes; one that uses the existing condition of your home and one that takes upgrades into account. This can help you make a choice on how much you might save.
Resources Available from the State
The State of Alabama offers you many resources for home insurance information. The Property Insurance Clarity Act passed by Alabama in 2012 allows the state to gather information from insurance companies. This information is available to you, the consumer, so that you can review the different premiums insurance companies charge across the state.
The Homeowners Bill of Rights Act passed in 2012 is another act the Alabama government enacted to help you get fair home insurance coverage. The state passed this act in response to homeowners who were receiving unfair treatment by insurance companies.
If you aren't getting the answers you need from your insurance company on certain questions you have, you can call the state insurance department for help.
Frequently Asked Questions About Alabama Home Insurance
If you are a new homeowner or already own a home in Alabama, you may have questions about insurance. Some of the frequently asked questions about home insurance include the following.
1. Once you submit a claim, how long does it take to process?
Processing time for claims varies depending on the insurance company. You should be able to check the status of your claim by contacting the company directly.
2. Is there a way to find out if a home has prior insurance claims?
You can contact the State of Alabama Department of Insurance to see if a home you are purchasing has prior claims. The state may be able to provide more specific information on the claim.
3. Do insurance companies have to be licensed in Alabama?
The state requires insurance companies to register in Alabama order to provide insurance to you.
4. Are there limits on home insurance coverage?
Some limits on home insurance policies include coverage for mold damage and updates to keep your home up to code.
How to Get Great Rates on Alabama Home Insurance
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Alabama Home Insurance Resources
These resources provide helpful consumer information about Alabama insurance.
AL Department of Insurance
Insurance regulations and consumer information on all types of Alabama insurance