Ideas to lower your flood insurance cost
Elevating above the base Flood elevation is the fastest way to reduce the cost of your annual flood insurance premium. You can save hundreds of dollars for every foot the elevated floor is located above your community’s established base flood elevation. Elevating just one foot above the base flood elevation often results in a 30% reduction in annual premiums. A homeowner with an elevated home 3 feet above the base flood elevation, can expect to save about 60% on annual flood insurance premiums.
One of the most effective options is relocating your home on an area of your property that has its natural grade above the base Flood elevation. This will be costly, but can reduce the need to pay excessive flood insurance rates. Before undertaking this option make sure to do a cost / benefit analysis. If you are preparing to build a new home or structure, evaluate your property to determine if there is a suitable building area outside of the oodplain. Be warned; homes constructed outside the floodplain (or on natural ground above the base flood elevation) are not 100% safe from flooding. On average, between 20-25% of all flood insurance claim payouts go to buildings that are located outside of the special flood hazard area. If your home is located outside the floodplain and you still want to be covered, affordable “Preferred Risk” policies are available.
If you locate any machinery or equipment that services your home or building (i.e. electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, and air conditioning equipment) below the base flood elevation, an additional surcharge will be added to your insurance premium causing your annual insurance rates to increase. If your house was elevated to a safer level, maximize your savings and reduce your losses by relocating your machinery and equipment above the base flood elevation. Consider using your attic, an extra
closet, or an elevated platform to store utilities.
INSTALL FLOOD OPENINGS
One common reason why insurance policies are rated so severely is due to a lack of proper flood openings. IBC/IRC minimum building code requirements for “foundation vents ” in areas outside the oodplain may not meet the same speci cations as “flood openings” or “ ood vents” within a oodplain. For buildings in the oodplain, there must be at least two openings with 1 sq. inch of opening per sq ft of enclosed area, and the bottom of those openings can be no higher than 1ft above the exterior finished grade. There are no discounts for “partial credit.” If you have 1000 sq feet of enclosed crawlspace and 900 sq inches of openings, you will be charged as though there are no openings (i.e. basement loading fees could apply). Don’t forget that garage doors, windows, and doors do not count as flood openings unless they have openings installed within them. Check with the local code official in your area.
BASEMENTS IN FLOODPLAINS ARE PROHIBITED
Unless explicitly authorized, basements in new buildings constructed in the floodplain are prohibited. FEMA considers “crawlspaces” that are sub-grade on all sides to be basements as well. If your community has adopted building standards that allows such construction, homeowners in the floodplain with an excavated subgrade crawlspace will bear an additional financial cost through a 15-20% increase on their flood insurance premiums. When building, you can save that cost by backfilling any excavated areas within the foundation. It can also be done at a later date by using pea-gravel or other suitable material to raise the interior crawlspace floor elevation to the same height or higher than the exterior finished grade.
It is fun and relaxing to live close to water, but the costs are high.Source: www.powertochoosehq.com