How to Reduce Flood Insurance


Floodproofing your home or business can mean a reduction in your flood insurance premiums, possibly qualifying you for preferred rates. Wet and dry floodproofing reduce the damages that can occur to a structure during a flood, but do not totally protect it from damage. One method of raising the ground elevation can eradicate the requirement for flood insurance, if the property resides in a high- or coastal high-risk zone. After completing wet or dry floodproofing, you will need to apply for certification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and provide the certification to your insurance company to receive a reduced rate.

Raise the ground with earthen fill before building to elevate the plat within a special flood hazard area to an elevation at or above the base flood elevation, then apply for and receive a Letter of Map Amendment from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. You can determine this elevation by consulting FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Map, or FIRM, for your county. FEMA makes these maps available online at its Map Service Center. If FEMA awards you a Letter of Map Amendment, you are exempt from the federal requirement to purchase flood insurance.

Wet floodproof your home or business so water that enters does less structural damage. This includes using flood-resistant materials in construction or remodeling, such as pressure-treated and naturally decay-resistant lumber, metal, concrete, stone, masonry block, ceramic and clay tile and epoxy paints. Also, install openings in the foundation and garage walls to allow entry and exit of floodwaters.

Dry floodproof your home or business so water becomes less likely to reach the interior of the structure. This includes anchoring the building and strengthening the retaining walls, installing sump pumps and foundation drainage, and raising the utility and electrical equipment above flood level.

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