We are always getting a lot of questions regarding flood insurance for decks. So today we want to answer a few of those questions. First of all are decks covered for flood insurance?
Coverage for decks can be a little tricky lets’ say you have a deck that surrounds a pool but the deck is not attached to your home. This type of deck would not generally be covered. There are some exceptions in coastal flood zones where flood insurance in Florida, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina may cover these types of decks. Some private carriers are also starting to cover detached structures like decks on their flood insurance policy, but generally speaking these types of decks are not going to be covered on a National Flood Insurance Program policy. Lets talk about a little bit different scenario which is attached decks.
Attached decks are decks that are permanently attached to the primary structure. NFIP states that these types of structures are covered by their flood insurance policy. The condition is they meet the same guidelines as the structure, if they do not then they would not be covered. The next thing we want to talk about is how these decks can impact flood insurance rates.
You may or may not know it only takes a tiny piece of your property to be in a special flood hazard area in order for the entire structure to be in one. For example 99% of your home is in a low risk zone or zone X, but the very corner of your house is in a special flood hazard area then the entire property is in a high risk zone. So how do you change this?
Well unless you plan on raising up the foundation of your home which could cost thousands to do there is not much that can be done. However the same cannot be said for decks that cause the same issue. We speak to people everyday who are looking at making additions to their homes like decks. They always want to know how will it impact their flood insurance? This is a valid concern and one that should come up more often. Many people put themselves into high risk flood zones without realizing it. So what can be done?
When an a surveyor performs a survey they can complete an elevation certificate that measures the different elevations of the home, attached structures, and detached structures. If it is found that your deck falls within the special flood hazard area, then you have a few options. The first thing you can do is have that portion of the deck removed which should remove the entire structure from the special flood hazard area. You could simply leave the deck and get flood insurance on the property. If you do these there are tow different paths to go.
The two paths for flood insurance are the National Flood Insurance Program which we have already mentioned and then private flood carriers. What is the difference? One is backed by the government and other is backed by private insurance companies. Generally FEMA is going to have higher rates in these areas, because they cannot pick and choose the risks they take on like private carriers can. The third option is detaching the deck from the structure.
As crazy and as difficult as this might sound, it is becoming very popular. If the deck is not attached to the structure then it should not impact flood insurance rates. Now you would not want to simply detach it but move it a good distance away from the structure like 5-10 feet where you can clearly see it is its own structure.
While flood insurance on decks can be challenging it doesn’t have to have a major impact on property values by following some of the actions we have discussed. If you have questions about exactly how decks are covered? Maybe a deck is impacting your flood insurance rates then please fill the form out below to see how we might be able to help you with this problem.