Baton Rouge, LA -- Louisianans with substantial flood damage and National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies may be eligible for increased financial assistance to help cover the cost of elevating, demolishing or relocating their homes or businesses.
Officials said the key to securing Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) funding was for residents to work closely with local officials at every stage of the recovery process.
ICC coverage may provide up to $20,000 to offset homeowner and business costs associated with bringing the structure to the current base flood elevation under the community's floodplain ordinance. The coverage is available to policyholders who reside in a special flood hazard area, commonly called a high-risk area.
ICC claims are adjusted separately from flood damage claims. To be eligible for ICC funding the NFIP policyholder must contact a local permitting official who will determine if the structure has been either substantially or repetitively damaged.
Substantial damage is defined as damage to the point that repairs will cost 50 percent or more of the building's pre-flood market value. Repetitive damage losses occur when the cost of repairing the structure's flood damage from two events that occurred within ten years, on average, equaled or exceeded 25 percent of the market value. A flood insurance claim must have been paid for each loss.
To be eligible for a repetitive loss, a policyholder must live in a community that has a repetitive loss provision in its floodplain management ordinance.
Once the community official has made this determination, the applicant should contact their insurance company or agent who wrote the policy. The assigned claims representative will help process the claim when repair work begins.
Repairs and rebuilding done under this program must be done in accordance with local building codes and must comply with local floodplain ordinances. The damaged building must be raised to or above the flood level adopted by the community, relocated out of the floodplain, demolished or flood-proofed (non-residential buildings only).
The local official making the damage determination will also tell the ICC applicant the ordinance provisions that must be met and explain available mitigation options.
Local communities are responsible for:
- Determining the market value of the structure;
- Determining the cost of repair for flood damage, and other damages;
- Determining substantial damage; and
- Issuing permits, and verifying compliance.
The individual property owner is responsible for:
- Supplying more detailed information, such as certified appraisals or contractor estimates, to the permit official if the owner wishes to contest the substantial damage determination;
- Obtaining necessary building permits;
- Working closely with local community officials to ensure mitigation measures meet the requirements;
- Submitting building plans to show how the structure will be mitigated;
- Submitting a copy of the construction contract;
- Submitting to the permit official, after construction, an elevation certificate; and
- Submitting to the adjuster, after construction, a certificate of occupancy that was issued by the permit official, showing compliance.
After the determination, the policyholder should contact their insurance company or agent to file an ICC claim that results in an ICC Proof of Loss statement. The normal steps of repair: obtaining estimates, selecting contractors, securing building permits and overseeing construction do not need to be held up during this time.
A partial ICC payment is possible once the ...