TRENTON — For many New Jersey homeowners, rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy will mean meeting a higher standard – literally.
Communities up and down the Jersey coast are reviewing new advisory base flood elevation maps published in December by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The maps show how high buildings should be elevated to minimize damage from future flooding.
Building higher means higher costs, but federal resources may be available to help with the additional expense.
Flood insurance policyholders in high-risk areas, also known as special flood hazard areas, can get up to $30,000 to help pay the costs of meeting the requirements of their community’s floodplain ordinance. The National Flood Insurance Program includes Increased Cost of Compliance coverage for all new and renewed standard flood insurance policies.
The money can be used to raise your home to, or above, the flood elevation level adopted by your local government or to move your home out of harm’s way. The Increased Cost of Compliance coverage can also be used to tear down and remove flood-damaged buildings.
Increased Cost of Compliance claims are paid only on flood-damaged homes in a high-risk area that don’t already comply with the local flood plain ordinances. The amount of flood damage has to be declared by local authorities as substantial. The coverage can only be used to pay for costs of meeting the floodplain management ordinance in your community.
For more information on ICC coverage, call your insurance company or agent, or call the NFIP toll-free at 1-800-427-4661 or TTY 1-800-427-5593. Information can also be found online at http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.