How much does flood insurance cost?
The average annual cost of an NFIP policy is about $700 per year, but the price of your own flood insurance policy will vary depending on where your home is located and a few other factors.
FEMA will set your flood insurance premiums based on whether you’re in a designated flood zone. You can still get flood insurance coverage if you’re outside of a flood zone, and your premiums will be considerably lower. Other factors that may affect your flood insurance premiums include your home’s age, its size, and how many occupants it has.
FEMA is currently redesigning its flood insurance system to consider flood risk factors other than community location, such as local levels of hurricane rainfall and distance to the nearest large body of water. The agency will announce its new rates in April 2020, and they’ll go into effect starting in October 2020. The changes are expected to increase rates for more valuable homes and those in the highest risk areas while decreasing rates for homes with a low risk of flooding.
Some cities and towns have joined FEMA’s Community Rating System, which means they’ve agreed to go above and beyond the agency’s minimum standards for communities located in floodplains. If your home is located in a community that’s a member of the CRS, you’ll likely be eligible for a discount on your flood insurance premiums.
Certain alterations that can protect your home from flood damage may also reduce your flood insurance premiums.
The most significant (and expensive) way to protect your home from floods is to have it elevated above the “base flood elevation,” which is the expected flood level for your area. You’ll also need to elevate machinery such as electrical and air conditioning equipment above that base flood elevation line.
Another option is to have your foundation retrofitted with enough flood vents to meet FEMA’s floodplain requirements.
Finally, homes that are located in a floodplain and have basements or subgrade crawlspaces will be hit with as much as a 20% increase on their flood insurance premiums; thus, removing such a crawlspace can help significantly with flood insurance rates.