TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Flood insurance policyholders whose structures were damaged by flooding from the recent storms in northern and eastern Florida may be eligible for up to $30,000 in coverage in addition to their claims for damages. The extra money can be used by property owners to make their homes or businesses safer in the event of future floods.
The benefit is called Increased Cost of Compliance, or ICC coverage, because it helps pay for the increased cost of complying with the local building codes. It is a part of most National Flood Insurance Program policies.
To qualify for ICC, a building must be damaged due to flooding and be:
- Covered by a National Flood Insurance Program standard policy;
- Located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, also known as a regulatory floodplain;
- Below the base flood level; and
- Either "substantially damaged" or a "repetitive-loss property."
"Substantial damage" has occurred when the cost of restoring a structure to its pre-damage condition equals or exceeds 50 percent of the structure's pre-damage market value. To qualify for ICC, which is part of a flood insurance policy, the damage must be due to flooding.
A "repetitive-loss property" is one that has suffered two or more flood losses over 10 years with the cumulative cost of repairs equaling or exceeding 50 percent of the value of the structure. Increased Cost of Compliance for repetitive-loss structures is available only in communities that have repetitive-loss provisions in their floodplain-management ordinances and track repetitive-loss damages.
A policyholder seeking ICC funding needs to file a claim that is separate from the basic claim for flood damages. The money can be used to elevate, demolish or relocate the damaged structure. For non-residential structures, the funds can also be used for floodproofing.
In some cases, owners may have the opportunity to assign their ICC payments to their communities for inclusion in community-sponsored acquisition programs primarily funded by state and federal agencies.
The total insurance payout, including ICC coverage, cannot exceed $250,000 for a residence or $500,000 for a non-residential structure.
Answers to general flood insurance questions are available from local floodplain administrators, the National Flood Insurance Program (1-800-427-4661) and insurance companies and agents. Information is also available at www.fema.gov and www.floodsmart.gov.
Insurance agents can provide information about purchasing flood insurance policies. Names of agents who sell policies are available at 1-800-427-2419.
FEMA leads and supports the nation in a risk-based, comprehensive emergency management system of preparedness, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation, to reduce the loss of life and property and protect the nation from all hazards including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, and other man-made disasters.