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Mitigation Techniques

Home owners who are still in the rebuilding and repair phase after suffering damage from a recent hurricane and those who simply want to avoid flood damage should consider some practices that will reduce the risk of flooding and provide more affordable flood insurance rates. Those interested should first check with their local building official about building codes, zoning ordinances, and flood risk. Then check with a local insurance agent on possible savings on flood insurance premiums.

Elevating a home above the BFE is a proven mitigation technique for reducing flood damage. One home owner, for example, had her home elevated above the reach of floodwaters. She worked with the city's building department to determine the level at which the lowest floor would be above the BFE. Then, at their suggestion, it was raised higher so that the space below the house could be used as a parking area, allowing an additional savings on her flood insurance premium. The total cost of this elevation project was $37,000. Since completing the project, it is estimated that the home owner has avoided losses that would have totaled $45,000. And every year she saves $800 on lower insurance premiums.6

Other mitigation strategies that could lower the flood risk, and thus the insurance premium, include

·        Relocating the house to an area on the property that is above the BFE or to another lot outside the floodplain

·        Raising utilities, such as a furnace, air-conditioning unit, and/or water heater, above the BFE

·        Creating flood openings on the home's foundation so floodwaters can flow through

·        Filling in sub-grade crawlspaces to the same height or higher than the exterior finished grade


Suzanne Brown Insurance Agency

A Texas Independent Insurance Agency with over 40 insurance carriers




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