Press Releases
About Us

Activities | Research | Academics | Information | Connecting | Resources | Public Events

Resources | Climate Change Impacts | Practical Tips |Flood Insurance

Tips for Decreasing Flood Insurance

Living in Hampton Roads, we are all prone to the effects of flooding. If you live in a flood zone, you are paying flood insurance. Everyone wants to save money, and with these tips, you can do just that.


  • It is important to place your utility units in an area that is above the flood line. Having your units below the flood line can cause big increases in your flood insurance.
  • Elevated platforms are viable options. (See picture)
  • Keeping the utilities in the attick is another option.
Flood Openings
  • “Engineered vents that allow floodwaters to flow freely under your house can save thousands of dollars on premiums. Without them, water can put enough pressure on your foundation to make it collapse (Virginia Pilot).”
  • Buildings in the flood line require 2 openings.
  • Must be 1 square inch/per each square foot of bulding.
  • “If it costs you $2,500 to put the vents in, and you were at a $3,000 flood policy, and we've lowered you to $500, you've made up for that in your first year,” said Scott Hunter, who compares insurance rates across companies (Virginia Pilot).”
  • Garages count too. They also need vents that comply with regulations.


  • Raise the price of flood insurance up to 15-20%
  • Fill in the basement if not in use.
  • Dirt and sand can be used to fill in the basement.
  • “You can put all the flood vents in you want, and it won't save you a penny on flood insurance” if your basement or “sub-grade crawl space” isn't filled, David Sonner said. (Virginia Pilot)

Elevated Homes

  • If you house is below the flood line, elevating your home above the line could save you a lot of money
  • Up to 30% savings for every foot above the base.
  • The federal government gives out grants to raise homes
  • Norfolk has 30 elevated homes, and a dozen more are in the process of being elevated.
  • “If you are a foot or two above base flood elevation, you start saving lots of money,” said┬áDavid Sonner(a sales manager for a company that installs flood vents)...”“But if you are a foot or two below, well, it's like having a dozen DUIs on your record and you're trying to keep driving.”(Virginia Pilot)


Flood Plain: a flat land bordering a body of water that is subject to flooding .

Base Flood Elevation: the level the water is predicted to rise during a 100-year flood, the worst that could be expexted in a century. The elevation of your home compared to the Base Flood Elevation plays a big factor in determining your flood insurance cost.

Sub-Grade: below ground level.