Alabama Law Bringing Down Home Insurance Rates for Residents

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  • Homeowners in many states across the country that are at significant risk for flooding have likely seen their costs go up for insuring their properties against such disasters, but lawmakers in those areas are now focused on doing more to keep those increases as limited as possible.This may be particularly true in Alabama, and insurance agents will have to be mindful of the sensitivity some consumers may have to adding even more coverage.

    The so-called Clarity Law that was recently passed by state legislators is already said to be making a significant impact on consumers’ personal bottom lines, according to a report from Mobile, Alabama, television station WALA. There, the state average for flood insurance costs is about $950, and as the nickname implies, the law itself is designed to help owners find a little bit more in the way of transparency when it comes to comparing the rates they can pay versus what others will have to bear.

    For instance, Michelle Kurtz of the Homeowners Hurricane Insurance Initiative told the news agency that residents of Mobile and Baldwin Counties pay between 300 percent and 600 percent more for their coverage than the state average, and that can be a significant burden to bear, the report said. Because the law allows consumers to look up insurers’ losses by county and ZIP code, they might be able to find a little more flexibility elsewhere in the state.

    On the other hand
    However, experts say that this law may not be helping people as much as was intended, the report said. The actual losses reported have been offset by reinsurance coverage in many cases and as such, understate how much paying damages actually cost insurers. Moreover, this may contribute to misconceptions about these issues.

    “People on the coast are not being overcharged and in fact they are being undercharged substantially for the home owners’ policies that they are getting,” Charles Angell, a worker with the Alabama Department of Insurance, told the station.

    Insurance agents may need to be prepared to deal with consumers who are concerned about their ability to afford any type of insurance coverage beyond those they necessarily have to obtain. The fact is that these policies often come with massive price tags that can make it difficult to squeeze any other plans into consumers’ budgets, even when they may be vital to protecting their assets, and highlighting the potential value may go a long way.