FEMA knows that flood insurance, especially when it becomes required unexpectedly, may be difficult for people to afford. Flood insurance helps protect you from the financial burden that flooding can cause - the average flood insurance claim from 2007 to 2011 was around $30,000. There are things you can do to make flood insurance as affordable as possible:
- Increase your deductible (if allowed by your lender); and
- Purchase an elevation certificate that provides details that can help determine how to reduce the flood risk specific to your home or business. This involves hiring a surveyor to visit your property. Your insurance agent or local floodplain administrator can then use your elevation certificate to help identify opportunities to protect your home from flooding and reduce your insurance premium (e.g., installing flood vents, removing an enclosure, etc.).
Also, if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System (CRS), you could qualify for a flood insurance discount of between five and 45% if your property is in the Special Flood Hazard Area. Communities that participate in CRS may also have elevation certificates on file for individual homes or businesses. Check with your tax assessor's office or planning and zoning commission to determine if an elevation certificate is available for your home or business.
Your insurance agent can help you work through all of the options to make sure your payments are as low as possible.