With hurricanes and other natural disasters, flood insurance is a necessity for many homes in the Tampa Bay area. While this can be costly, there are ways to save money on your premiums.
Like any other insurance, flood insurance is a great way to protect your home and its contents. With hurricanes, heavy rains, and low sea level areas, properties in the Tampa Bay area are especially susceptible to damaging floods. Though flood insurance can be costly, it is necessary to protect your property, and many lenders will make it a requirement. Despite that fact, there are ways to save money on your flood insurance premiums. Keep reading to find out how you can start saving today.
Obtain an Elevation Certificate
An Elevation Certificate, which can be issued by a professional surveyor, will verify the lowest elevation of your dwelling, including the basement. This information will help your flood insurance company determine your premium by comparing your elevation to the estimated floodwater height. At a cost of around $200.00, this may sound like a risky expenditure, but in reality, this evaluation will save 80% of homeowners money. Even if your building is older and doesn’t require an Elevation Certificate, you could still save hundreds of dollars a year by simply obtaining this documentation.
Implement FEMA Recommendations
If you change your home to comply with the recommendations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), you can save money on your flood insurance premiums. These changes include moving your utilities (such as electrical, heating, air conditioning, ventilation, and plumbing) to higher ground. You can also add regulated flood openings, which help relieve the build-up of water in case of a flood.
Relocating Your Home
While moving your home from its original foundation may seem drastic, it can help protect your property and save you money on flood insurance premiums. Moving a home to a new foundation can cost anywhere from about $67.00 to $116.00 per square foot, but if the home is placed high enough, flood insurance may not be necessary at all.
You can also elevate your home, so the first floor is above the flood level. This can be done by physically elevating the home on jacks then creating a new foundation, or by adding a new top level and turning your lowest level into a parking area.
Fill Spaces Below the Surface
Crawl spaces that are properly filled, according to FEMA regulations, can help save you money on flood insurance. In many cases, you can fill a sub-grade space with pea gravel or other recommended substances.
Purchase a New Home
If the idea of a potential flood is too risky, or if your flood insurance premiums are skyrocketing, it may be time for a new home. A professional real estate broker can help you select a home above flood levels or in a safer area, all while selling your old home for top dollar.
For more information on how to save money on flood insurance, feel free to contact the Meoni Team today!