Flood insurance is already a major hassle for most commercial and private property owners. With prices ranging from $50 to $150 per month in addition to other property insurance costs, it can be tempting for owners (especially homeowners) to skip flood insurance entirely and hope for the best. However, as climate change affects sea levels and extreme weather events (such as the increase in major hurricanes), this becomes an even riskier strategy.
Due to the impending rise in sea levels and increase in hurricane intensity and frequency, it is expected for flood insurance rates to rise in coastal areas in the upcoming decades. According to recent studies, nearly 77% of policyholders under the National Flood Insurance Program will see a rise in rates over the next few years.
Coming into effect this month, the program is introducing new criteria for premium rates, which previously only took a home’s elevation into account. Now, climate change-related risks and home value will be factored in to create a more equitable system and prepare for inevitable flooding due to sea-level rise. This will affect nearly 3.3 million property owners, ranging from increases of $10 to $100 or more per month.
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However, there are several options for property owners who want to decrease their flood risk and flood insurance rates before it’s too late. FEMA offers several suggestions to help local government buildings, commercial properties, and homeowners prepare for floods and decrease their flood risk through simple changes to their facilities:
- Read your state’s Risk Rating 2.0 State Profile to better understand your area’s risk and potential rises in rates depending on seal level rise.
- Move commercial equipment and essential assets to the upper levels of a building to prevent significant losses.
- Install flood openings to homes or facilities to reduce flood damage when it occurs
- Elevate your property (especially beachfront properties).
- Encourage the local community to participate in the Community Rating System, which can help your municipality save on flood insurance costs.
- Apply for Hazard Mitigation Assistance and other climate action grants for your state.
In addition to these steps, community leaders and businesses need to act now to prepare for increased flooding events due to rapid climate change. That is where HighTide steps in to offer comprehensive sea-level risk assessments and data-driven solutions for coastal communities. We provide:
- Readily accessible flood risk data
- Economic and socio-economic analysis for local communities exposed to sea-level rise
- Construction cost estimates of flood proofing and home elevating
- Damage and budget estimates for federal assistance
Our work aims to provide governments, businesses, and homeowners with the knowledge and tools necessary to evaluate, prepare, and adapt to the new normal. While climate action is still required, communities need to understand the risks they are facing within the next few decades and protect property owners from significant losses.
Request a demo with HighTide to learn more about our platform and tools for flood planning. It could help protect you and your communities from rising flood risk, insurance rates, and real trouble when the next hurricane season arrives.