Flood Insurance On The Rise! Fight The Increases!

There have been many changes happening with flood insurance since the Biggert Waters Flood Act took effect last October that are causing flood insurance premiums to skyrocket.   Many people are selling their homes and moving to lower risk areas where premiums are cheaper, and others are left to either pay the higher rate for their flood insurance or let their policy cancel and not have any coverage at all.  Here are 5 ways that can help you reduce the cost of your flood insurance premiums.

 1.  Relocation-  This can be a costly method to help reduce your premium, but depending on your situation it might make sense to you.  If you have an area of your property that has its natural grade located above the base flood elevation then you may want to consider moving your home to that area which would in turn reduce your premium or even help qualify your property for a preferred risk policy.

 2.  Utilities-  When the machinery that services your home is located below the base flood elevation it can result in higher premiums.  To help reduce the cost you may want to consider putting all machinery on an elevated platform so that it is located above base flood elevation which will help maximize your savings and help reduce the risk of losses to that machinery.

 3.  Flood Openings-  If you have an enclosure under your property and there are no flood openings you will pay a higher premium because there is a higher risk of flood waters damaging the foundation.  By adding compliant venting you not only reduce the risk of foundation damage but also lower your flood premium.  For buildings inside the floodplain there must be at least two openings with 1 sq in of opening per square foot of enclosed area, and the bottom of these openings can be no higher than 1 foot above the exterior finished grade.

4.  Basements-  New construction within a floodplain prohibits having a basement as a foundation.  When building in a floodplain with a basement you can backfill any excavated areas within the foundation to  cut the cost of your flood premium.  It can also be done at a later date by using pea gravel or other suitable material to raise the interior floor elevation to the same height or higher than the exterior finished grade.

5.  Elevation-  The fastest way to reduce the cost of your flood insurance is by elevation your home above base flood elevation.  Elevating just one foot above your community’s established base flood elevation often results in a 30% reduction in annual premiums.  Just because your home is located in the floodplain doesn’t mean that you can’t reduce your flood insurance premium.  Look at all of the examples above and see which suggestion makes the most sense for your situation!

* Information Direct from FEMA.