Homes and businesses located in floodplains continue to see the financial effects of the rise in flood insurance rates. Many property owners are frustrated with the high flood insurance premiums they must pay each year. If your home or business has been deemed at risk in a flood-prone area, it is important to understand what determines the cost of your annual flood insurance premiums. When you know the common causes of high flood insurance rates and the steps you can take to reduce them, you can save hundreds or thousands of dollars each year.
Common Causes of High Flood Insurance Premiums
Flood insurance can be costly. But, there are several factors that determine the cost of your annual flood insurance. If your property is in close vicinity to a large body of water, it is understandable that you will have to pay higher insurance rates. For example, coastal communities often hold higher coverage requirements than communities located in the mountains. Once you consider your location, there are a few reasons why your insurance premiums might seem higher than you would expect. Here are some common causes of high insurance rates:
- Buildings with basements located beneath the base flood elevation
- Entire structures located below the base flood elevation
- Structures lacking proper flood openings
- Machinery or equipment located below the base flood elevation
Changes to Effectively Lower Flood Insurance Rates
Unfortunately, it might be difficult to change some of the less obvious reasons you are paying high premiums. However, there are some modifications that will help you reduce your insurance rates. Take a look at these five ways to help you reduce your premiums.
1. Relocate utility machinery and equipment above the base flood elevation.
If you locate any machinery and equipment below the base flood elevation, you can find savings by relocating these utilities. Electrical, heating, plumbing, ventilation, and cooling equipment that services your building may be the cause of your high flood insurance rates. When you elevate this machinery to a level above the base flood elevation, you will notice savings. Attics, closets, or even elevated platforms are great options for relocation.
2. Add proper flood openings or vents.
Those whose property is in a floodplain can see a drop in premium rates when they install flood openings or flood vents into the foundation of their home or business. Garage doors, windows, and doors do not count as flood openings unless they have a specific flood opening installed within. The general requirements indicate that buildings in the floodplain area should have at least two openings with one square inch per square foot of the enclosed area.
3. Elevation efforts can reduce your premiums.
If possible, the SAFEST way to reduce your annual flood insurance rates is to elevate the property above the base flood elevation. You can save hundreds of dollars for every foot the living areas are elevated above the base flood elevation. This also requires you to invest more money into your home, but it’s worth it in the end.
4. File for a permit.
Before elevation can begin on your home, you must file for a permit. A LOMR-F which is a permit to fill would be required, to elevate the grade around the structure. In the long run, this step is crucial to helping you reduce your premiums.
5. Relocate to another area of your property.
One of the most effective ways to modify your structure is to relocate it to another area of your property. If there is enough room in an area whose natural grade is above the base elevation, you can Relocate the structure on the property outside the floodplain. Although this is one of the costlier modifications, it can sometimes eliminate the need to pay flood insurance altogether.
Flood insurance premiums can cost property owners thousands of dollars per year. At Flood Zone Specialists, we take pride in helping property owners find flood insurance rates that are right for them. Talk to an expert member of our certified staff today to find out what options you have to reduce your flood insurance premiums.