We will continue to monitor the update to the National Flood Insurance Program. We are working with Representative Tim Whelan to set up a meeting with our Congressman and Senators on this reauthorization.
As reported in this article, many of the proposals will dramatically increase costs to homeowners located in the flood zone. Given actual amounts Dennis residents have received in the past from the NFIP, alternatives are a must.
We have people considering lifting their homes for flood zone compliance. This video will give you an idea of what is involved. Just shared for informational purposes.
We are going to have to watch this. Forgiving the NFIP debt, and Congress taking responsibility for disasters over a particular value, would level the field with tornadic or wildfire disasters. This is not being proposed. Raising coverage to $500,000, without any guarantee that a policyholder will be able to recover that value misleads the consumer.
As we have a rather vested interest in this, we will add this to the Economic Development Committee agenda.
A not too rosy picture of what may be to come for homeowners in the flood zone.
The Dennis Planning Board is bringing a Zoning Amendment to Town Meeting to remove some of the red tape involved in bringing existing structures up to flood zone elevation standards. The goal of the zoning amendment is to make it easier for existing non-conforming structures to be lifted to, or above, base flood elevation. The proposal allows existing non-conforming structures to be lifted to place the first floor up to three feet above Base Flood Elevation without the need to go before the Board of Appeals. Lifting a house higher than three feet, or reconstructing a house to be larger than the existing home (except for an allowed utility/laundry closet) will still require a visit to the Board of Appeals.
The goal of the amendment is to make it easier and quicker for existing homes to elevated before we get hit with a big storm. Additionally, the hope is that, with this change, it will be a quicker recovery after a big storm.
Looking at the newest FEMA flood insurance rates based upon the exposure of homes to flood waters, there can be big annual savings in flood insurance for lifting existing structures. A house that is exposed to three feet of flooding can expect to pay up to $7,279+ in annual flood insurance costs. A house built right at Base Flood Elevation can expect to pay $1,529+ annually and a house lifted to three feet above Base Flood Elevation might only pay about $350+ in annual flood insurance costs. (These costs do not include FEMA surcharges which might add about $150 to each of these amounts annually).
This zoning amendment will allow someone exposed to flooding to save between $1,200 and $7,000 annually on flood insurance.
The new 2017 Flood Insurance Rates have been released. The following provides some ideas of what these costs might come to. Obviously, check with your insurer for accurate rates. There are many different tables that might apply. These are my best attempts to decipher the tables. These costs also do not include any of the surcharges.
Pre-FIRM (1978) Single Family-Primary Residence home in an A Zone, No Elevation Certificate (Basic Insurance $60,000 coverage/Full Insurance $250,000 coverage)
No basement: $594/$2,304
With basement: $630/$3,157
Pre-FIRM (1978) Single Family-Second Residence home in an A Zone, No Elevation Certificate (Basic Insurance $60,000 coverage/Full Insurance $250,000 coverage)
No Basement: $1,212/$4,537
With Basement: $1,302/$6,204
Post-FIRM (1978) Single Family-Primary Residence home in an A Zone, (Basic Insurance $60,000 coverage/Full Insurance $250,000 coverage) With Elevation Certificate in relation to lowest floor and Base Flood Elevation
+3 feet: $192/$350
+2 feet: $282/$453
+1 foot: $522/$769
0 feet: $1,212/$1,592
-1 foot: $3,156/$3,631
-2 feet: $4,506/$5,494
-3 feet: $5,550/$7,279