Insurance Premiums

Following Hurricane Sandy, thousands of people began to consider something they probably had never considered before: house raising in NJ.

If you’re not familiar with the concept, it’s simple. House raising NJ is exactly what it sounds like. It is the process of literally raising, or lifting, a house up and constructing a newer, higher foundation beneath it. The idea is to have the house sit at a higher elevation, thus raising it above flood waters and cutting on your flood insurance premiums.

More people than ever are considering the process not simply because they went through Hurricane Sandy, but because the initial expense will be likely to save them money in the long term. Those savings can come not just in home repairs and renovations you’ll avoid by getting above floods, but thanks to lower flood insurance premiums.

Another factor prompting people to act now is that the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) has issued new flood elevation maps. With these maps, property owners are examining just how high their homes should be over regular tidal elevations – both to avoid future disaster as well as to lower their flood insurance premiums.

How can a map impact your insurance? It’s simple. Those FEMA maps are what set the guidelines for the elevation your home should be. They play a major role in what you pay for insurance and serve as the document that guides the entire flood insurance process.

For the layman, at first glance appear to be complex, since they are loaded with seemingly meaningless codes. Fortunately, these maps are not as difficult to understand as you might think. They use a basic letter and number coding system that is simple to understand once you know it. When looking over your flood elevation maps, just remember that the letter code signifies the type of area you are in and the type of flooding you might experience – heavy wave action, tidal area, etc. – and the number code indicates the height your home should be elevated to in the case of the 100-year storm.

Your flood insurance premiums will be based in large part on the codes contained on these maps. If you are below the suggested elevation, you will pay a lot. If you are at the suggested elevation, you will pay standard rates. If you are well above the suggested elevation, expect to pay nicely reduced rates.

The good news is, those rates may be lowered enough to offset the cost of raising your home. Prices for house raising NJ will vary depending on your region. Estimates could be as low as $25,000 or $30,000, though the sudden spike in demand may boost rates in some regions.

You don’t have to bear the entire expense, either. There are grants available to help offset the cost of house raising, and in some cases flood insurance will contribute to the costs, too.

The bottom line is, in the long term, raising your house a little could save you a lot.

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