Concern over insurance rates is increasing as questions about the Biggert-Waters Act remain unanswered, and uncertainty is the result. Remember that in the background, the Planning Department continues to pursue avenues to protect or increase our discounts, and provide ways for residents and builders to retrofit or build in ways that will reduce that insurance bill.
The attached document is a FEMA bulletin that outlines building practices that reduce risk. These practices also help the Parish residents save on insurance since FEMA runs the National Flood Insurance Program as well. The proposed changes to the parish Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance embrace these practices to protect the 20% discount we have now, and possibly increase that discount when we need it most. The sections of text in bright blue are specific recommendations for the ordinance (freeboard described below, open foundations, ductwork and mechanics above the flood risk, and limits on enclosures).
Below is a sample of the savings that is possible above and beyond this discount from “freeboard,” or building higher than the base flood elevation (BFE). The BFE is the minimum height that a structure can be built in the flood zone. Requiring a higher elevation through the ordinance will help protect the parishwide discount, and the discounts below for individual houses. The savings is so great that the mortgage (even before the increased rates expected) cost per month is lower even though the initial cost of building is an estimated .25%-1.5% higher.
Please contact me at 985-873-6565 if you have questions about this information.
$160,000 house with a 6.5% interest loan over 30 years.