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Make informed decisions about whether you need flood insurance to protect your financial investment.

Flood Insurance

Flood Insurance

Flood losses are not covered by most insurance policies.

Separate flood insurance coverage is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for any building in the STC region—regardless of the flood zone (because each municipality enforces floodplain development standards consistent with federal criteria). Flood insurance for buildings and contents can be purchased from private insurance agents and is generally required as a condition of the mortgage for buildings located in the regulated floodplain (1% annual probability/100-year floodplain mapped by FEMA). Areas within this high hazard floodplain have a 26% probability of being flooded at least once over the 30-year lifetime of a mortgage. Some parts of the floodplain are expected to flood more frequently.

Official website of the National Flood Insurance Program has information about flood risks and flood insurance.
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Flood Insurance Reforms - Who Is Affected? (August 2014):

Handout about the effects that phasing out of discounted flood insurance policies for older buildings are having for policyholders in the STC region. These changes were enacted by Congress in 2012 and 2014 and affect about half of the existing flood insurance policies in the region.
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Flood Insurance videos (Iowa State University, Extension and Outreach

A series of short videos address flood insurance topics, including when flood insurance coverage is required and the process for purchasing flood insurance.
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Q&A about Flood Insurance in New York State

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation website
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Flood Risk and Insurance Cost

Lowering the flood risk can sometimes lower the cost of flood insurance

Flood insurance policies are rated based on a variety of characteristics, including the flood zone, anticipated flood depth, age of the building, building elevation, building use, and other building characteristics—as well as the type and amount of coverage purchased (building only, contents coverage, deductible, etc.). Because the rating process is complex, there are no simple recommendations that apply in all circumstances. However, it is sometimes possible to make changes to a building that will both mitigate flood risks and lower the cost of flood insurance.

Homeowner’s Guide to Elevation Certificates

An Elevation Certificate is used to document the building’s elevation and other characteristics that are used to rate flood insurance policies. It is generally completed by a land surveyor and may be required for flood insurance.
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FEMA Elevation Certificates Presentation

In order to evaluate whether changes to a building can save money on flood insurance, you will want to understand what the information recorded on the Elevation Certificate means and how it may affect flood insurance premiums. This STC training workshop covers accurate completion and use of Elevation Certificates and can help with preparing to consult with STC staff or building and insurance professionals who are knowledgeable about flood insurance.
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The Costs and Benefits of Building Higher

Brochure (by the Association of State Floodplain Managers) presents examples of how higher building elevation can reduce the cost of flood insurance, while also providing damage protection. (Note that New York State has higher standards for new construction and substantially improved buildings).
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Cheaper Flood Insurance: 5 Ways to Lower the Cost of Your Flood Insurance Premium

FEMA brochure
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Reducing Flood Risk to Residential Buildings that Cannot Be Elevated

FEMA publication presents strategies for reducing flood risks for existing residential buildings and includes information about how each technique may affect flood insurance premiums.
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The Community Rating System

(CRS) is a program that enables reduced National Flood Insurance Program premiums within communities that go above and beyond minimum floodplain management requirements. Participating municipalities implement and document various floodplain management, flood mitigation and outreach activities. Nine STC municipalities currently participate at levels that enable 5% or 10% reductions in base premiums for some flood insurance policies:

  • Town of Ashland
  • Town of Big Flats
  • Town of Chemung
  • City of Corning
  • City of Elmira
  • Town of Horseheads
  • Village of Horseheads
  • Town of Southport
  • Village of Wellsburg

Introduction to the Community Rating System

STC presentation summarizing CRS program requirements and credit activities.
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National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System

FEMA’s CRS webpage provides information about the program and a link to the CRS Coordinator's Manual.
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CRS Resources

CRS Resources website includes forms and reference materials needed to implement a CRS program.
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CRS Community Resilience Guide

Online tools for CRS elements that strengthen natural ecosystems and reduce vulnerability to flooding, including a Green Guide, Element Profiles of CRS activities, and success stories.
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