FEMA: Local Regulations May Prompt Extra Flood Insurance Help
BATON ROUGE – According to FEMA, if your home or business is damaged by a flood, you may be required to meet certain building requirements in your community to reduce future flood damage before you repair or rebuild. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Standard Flood Insurance Policy provides Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage, which may be available to help cover the costs of meeting those requirements, subject to eligibility.
If eligible, NFIP insurance policyholders may receive up to $30,000 of ICC coverage to help pay the costs to bring their building into compliance with their community’s floodplain ordinance. The coverage availability and payment limits are subject to the terms of the policy and maximum coverage limits, including all applicable NFIP rules and regulations.
Four options you can take to comply with your community's floodplain management ordinance to reduce future flood damage include:
• Elevation. This raises your home or business to or above the flood elevation level adopted by your community.
• Relocation. This moves your home or business out of harm's way.
• Demolition. This tears down and removes flood-damaged buildings.
• Floodproofing. This option is available primarily for non-residential buildings. It involves making a building watertight through a combination of adjustments or additions of features to the building that reduces the potential for flood damage.
You may be eligible to file a claim for your ICC coverage in two instances:
• When your community determines that your building is “substantially damaged,” wherein the cost to repair or improve the structure exceeds its market value by a threshold amount adopted by law or ordinance. Community building officials are responsible for the issuance of substantial damage declarations.
• When your community has a “repetitive loss” provision in its floodplain management ordinance and determines that your building was damaged by a flood two times in the past 10 years, where the cost of repairing the flood damage, on average, equaled or exceeded 25 percent of its market value at the time of each flood.
If your community does determine that your building is substantially or repetitively damaged, a local official will explain the floodplain management ordinance provisions that you will have to meet. You may also want to consult with the local official before you make the final decision about which of the options to pursue.
Once your community has made its determination, contact your insurer or insurance agent to file an ICC claim. You should start getting estimates from contractors to take the necessary steps to FRED – floodproof, relocate, elevate or demolish.
When the work is completed, local officials will inspect it and issue a certificate of occupancy or a confirmation letter.
It’s important to remember that only policyholders with substantially or repetitively flood-damaged buildings may be eligible for ICC coverage. ICC helps pay for the costs of meeting the floodplain management requirements adopted by law or ordinance in your community. Any item paid for in the original flood damage claim cannot be duplicated in the ICC payment.
For more information on ICC coverage, call your insurance company or agent, or call the NFIP toll-free at 800-427-4661.