Entries in Pre-FIRM (1)

Flood Insurance Rating Factors – What factors determine my flood insurance rate?

My neighbor has a similar house and pays much less in flood insurance than I do – this is a common complaint that insurance agents hear. The truth is that all flood insurance rates are the same and are set by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). No matter who you buy your policy through, the rates are the same for each individual property. There are many factors that can make a big difference in your flood insurance premium, a qualified agent can help you determine if you are paying too much or walk you through ideas that may make a major difference in your rating factors:

Base Flood Elevation

The BFE is the elevation which the base flood is expected to reach. Depending on the slope and geography of where your dwelling is located a single foot of elevation change can be the difference between avoiding flood damage or thousands of dollars in repairs. If any portion of your property falls onto a Special Flood Hazard Area, you will be required to purchase flood insurance by your lender, even if you dwelling is located 30 feet above the lowest point on the property. If your dwelling sits at a high elevation on your property parcel it is possible you may qualify for a LOMA (Letter of Map Amendment) and be removed from the Flood Insurance requirement. Before you property can be qualify for a LOMA certificate you will need to complete a Base Elevation Certificate (BSE) conducted by a licensed land surveyor who is qualified for BSE.

Flood Vents

Large water flows have enough hydrostatic pressure to remove a house from its foundation. One factor in determining a flood insurance rate are flood vents. Flood vents allow quickly moving water to pass under an elevated structure, such as a house on an elevated crawl space, reducing hydrostatic pressure and the risk of removing a house from the foundation. To meet flood insurance guidelines, there must be at least two flood vents per wall, no more than one foot above grade level. There should be one square inch of flood vent for every square foot of enclosed wall.

How old is your house? Pre-FIRM and Post-FIRM Flood Maps.

What matters here, is whether you are on a pre-FIRM flood map or a post-FIRM flood map? Typically, Pre-FIRM buildings can be insured using "subsidized" rates, however if you hare on a pre-FIRM map and your Base Flood Elevation qualifies for a post-FIRM rating you could save money.

Want to know more about your flood rating? Give us a call at 877-220-5505

Photo Credit: The Ritters