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Lifting Homes To Lower Rates On Homeowners Insurance CT Residents Need

By Mike Heuer

Nearly 40,000 homes suffered damage or destruction when Hurricane Sandy made landfall near Connecticut in 2012, and that has many people raising their homes on stilts to keep the rates as low as possible for flood insurance and homeowners insurance CT residents need to protect their family homes.

Federal officials with the National Flood Insurance Program have been upgrading and expanding flood plain maps across the nation, and many homes in Connecticut and especially near the Atlantic coast must either undergo upgrades or risk paying a great deal for flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Most private insurers will not provide flood insurance coverage in areas prone to even occasional flood activity.

Homes located below the traditional flood plain can be raised to reduce the costs of their flood insurance protection, but that can be costly. A $200,000 family home might cost nearly $70,000 to raise on pilings while at the same time losing some of its value due to potential buyers not liking such structures and considering them to be eyesores. But, not doing so could result in steep prices for homeowners insurance CT residents need to protect against flooding.

In some states, the cost of not complying with the National Flood Insurance Program guidelines could result in flood insurance premiums as high as $10,000 per year or more. But taking steps to mitigate possible damages, such as raising homes on pilings to put them above a flood plain level instead of at or below it. Do so is critical for many homes in Connecticut, particularly as many homeowners struggle to receive federal assistance for repairing and rebuilding from storm damages.

While nearly all homes had the homeowners insurance CT houses need, not all policies fully covered the damages. But because many of the Connecticut Gov. Daniel P. Malloy says up to $150,000 in federal assistance could be available for rebuilding efforts.

“Too many homeowners, especially those living along the coastline, are still reeling from the storm’s devastating impact,” said Malloy. “This federal assistance will go a long way toward offsetting the costs of rebuilding and mitigating such destruction in the future so displaced residents can go home and get their lives back in order.”

Once their homes are repaired or rebuilt, the average cost for homeowners insurance CT residents need runs about $800 per year, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. That figure is about $100 less than the national average of some $900 per year but still ranks Connecticut 16th among states for the cost of insuring homes. Part of the reason the state ranks highly is the average cost of a home in the state is more than $231,000, according to the National Association of Realtors. That is much higher than the national average of $146,000 for homes sold across the United States in 2012. The higher the average cost of buying a home in a state, the higher the cost of insuring it due to the market value will be due to rebuilding costs and other factors.