As a local Charleston insurance agency that specializes in flood insurance, we get asked all the time “how much does flood insurance cost?” or “my neighbor pays $XXX but I pay $YYY, why do they pay so much less than I do?”. If you are asking these same questions, you are not alone. Below, I will explain what goes into calculating your flood insurance premiums and how you can find out exactly what you should pay.
When it comes to flood insurance, every property is rated on its individuality so the answer to the all-important question is, it depends. But don’t stop reading here, as what I will say next is very important.
There are many items that go into determine the premiums for flood insurance, including, but not limited to, the replacement cost of the home (how much coverage you are looking for), deductibles (how much risk the homeowner is willing to take on), the flood zone; either X, A or V (this can change rates drastically), the base flood elevation (BFE) for the property, the elevation of the first elevated floor, and venting or “openings” if it is applicable for the type of construction and flood zone. So the next question is, “how do I find out this info?”. The answer is an Elevation Certificate (aka EC). An Elevation Certificate is the most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to flood insurance and needs to be the first thing reviewed when looking at flood insurance for a property. Click here to learn more about Elevation Certificates.
In short, every property can have a different outcome even if they are right next to each other, so it is not as easy for someone to say “my neighbor is paying $XXX”. Certainly if the homes have relatively the same replacement cost, have the same elevations, have the same venting ratios and are in the same flood zone, then one would assume the flood insurance premium should be relatively the same. However, let’s say that your neighbor adds a slab addition to his crawl-spaced home, now this changes everything.
If you are concerned with your flood insurance premiums, I would recommend reviewing your flood policy AND elevation certificate with a flood insurance specialist to see how you might be able to reduce your rates or become more compliant with current flood regulations. So how much does flood insurance cost? Well…it depends!
To discuss your flood insurance policy with one of our advisors, please complete the insurance quote form to the right.