Five Ways to Reduce Your Flood Insurance Premium in South Carolina

Are you sick and tired of overpaying for your flood insurance only to go yet another year without even having a flood?  Well look no further.  We are going to unlock the secrets that your current insurance agent won’t tell you or simply doesn’t know how to help you.  After you read, do not wait to act on these secrets, especially after you read what I am about to say next.

But first let me tell you a quick story.  Louis, a resident of Isle of Palms, SC came to us recently because he was frustrated with his flood insurance premium going up 25% each year on his rental property on Isle of Palms.  Can you believe that he was paying $21,000 a year just for his flood insurance (another $14,000 on his home/wind insurance policy for a whopping total of $35,000 a year!). 

Just to break even on his insurance costs each year he had to rent out his home for two straight summer months!…Louis was tired of spending all of his rental income on insurance.  Louis decided to give us a call after hearing about us through a neighbor, after all it couldn’t hurt, right?

About a three days later, Griffin Morrow (one of our agency partners, agent, and client guide) shared with Louis the results…

  • $9,000 flood insurance premium

  • $8,500 home/wind insurance premium

  • NEW Total insurance cost of $17,500 and total SAVINGS of $17,500 A YEAR!

You can be like Louis and start saving immediate by filling out the form below and letting one of our advisors guide you through the process.  Now, you might be telling yourself that you only spend $5,000 or $10,000 a year on all your insurance.  Well, how would you like to cut that into one third or even in half?  We are not promising these results but the average savings for our Isle of Palms clients is right at $5,000.  Keep in mind this is an annual savings, not just a one time savings.  Over a five year period, that is $25,000!  This is money you can invest back into your home, other investments, retirement, kids or grand-kids college fund, vacation…you name it.  The most important thing is that the money is in your pocket and for you to decide what you want to spend it on…certainly not flood or home insurance!

Below are five ways to reduce your flood insurance premium in South Carolina. While we do not go into full detail on each of the five ways, this should give you an idea of where to start should you want to try and reduce your flood insurance premium in Charleston or Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

  1. Elevation Certificate – older properties, sometimes referred to as “pre-firm” properties, or those using subsidized rates are not rated with elevation certificates (most of the time). These properties may qualify for cheaper rates when rated with an elevation certificate. Getting a new elevation certificate completed by a licensed surveyor can potentially save you hundreds or thousands of dollars each year and make your house worth more by reducing the annual expenses. At minimum, an elevation certificate lets you know where your property stand and what you can possibly do  to receive a cheaper rate and premium. Getting a new elevation certificate will run between $300-$500. We recommend Nielson Consulting and Atlantic Surveying here in the Charleston market. (Mention Mappus Insurance to unlock a special rate).
  2. Flood vents – For AE flood zones, make sure you have the proper amount of flood vent openings in your crawl space or area below your elevated home. You need 1 inch of “opening” for every 1 sq. ft. of crawl space or enclosed area. For VE flood zones, make sure you have at least 40% opening ratio in your “slats” within your lower enclosed/pad area or have the lower area completely open. Sometimes simply adding a few flood vents can reduce your premiums by hundreds or thousands of dollars a year.
  1. Reduce coverages – Though you might not be able to reduce your building coverage due to lender requirements, you might be able to reduce or remove your contents coverage to help bring down your premiums. While we do not always recommend this, if you are willing to take on more “risk” (i.e. self-insure), this is a great option to consider. Keep in mind that under a FEMA flood policy, contents are valued on an actual cash value basis (ACV) versus replacement cost value (RCV) so should a loss occur, your FEMA flood policy is not going to replace your damaged contents and only payout a partial payment.  Additional note: make sure you know what is covered and how it is covered.
  1. Increase deductible – Many people carry the lowest deductible available (simply because they are not aware of other deductible options), which means you will have a higher rate (meaning higher premium). By simply increasing your deductible, you can save instantly. Beginning in April of 2015, homeowners were able to go up to as high as a $10,000 deductible, which could substantially reduce your premium. Now you can go up to a $25,000 deductible if you feel so inclined.  If you really think about it, if you have never had a flood loss, why carry such a low deductible and continue to pay higher premiums? Note: your lender might not allow a $10,000+ deductible so before you change your policy please check with them.
  1. Private Flood Insurance Private flood insurance?  Yes.  We are huge proponents of private flood insurance.  In fact, at Mappus, we represent over ten private flood insurance companies and are one of the countries largest underwriters of private flood insurance.  We actually look at FEMA as a “last resort” option in many cases.  If you really think about it, it is no different than your home or car insurance, those are with private insurance companies.  So why not your flood as well?  Besides, who wants to deal with the federal government anyways?!

Bonus Secret- Private Flood Insurance – Part Two – Private flood options can save you MAJOR PREMIUM and provide additional coverage (i.e. replacement cost on contents, loss of use/rental income, swimming pool coverage, higher limits than $250,000…).  This is exactly what we did for Louis in our story above and what we have done for hundreds of residents across South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida.  What makes private flood different than FEMA?  For starters, accurate mapping, satellite imagery, loss data, nearby flooding sources all play a role in private flood underwriting.  Beyond this, let us know and we would be happy to tell you!

Want to learn more about these five tips to save on your flood insurance premium?  Want to learn about some other tips that might help you save in other areas of your insurance?  What are you waiting for?  Start saving a lot of money on your flood insurance now.

If you are reading this from June 1st through November 30th that means it is hurricane season.  Don’t wait for it to be too late.  You can easily start the process by completing the form below and one of our agents will reach out and help guide you to better insurance and savings.  The sooner you start, the sooner you will save.

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