How Openings Affect Flood Insurance Rates and Energy Savings
Careful attention to compliance with the NFIP regulations for flood openings is important during design, plan review, construction, and inspection. Compliance influences both the vulnerability to flood damage and the cost of NFIP flood insurance.
If openings are not compliant, the floor of the crawlspace or the floor of the enclosure becomes the “lowest floor.” In those cases, the result may be significantly higher flood insurance premiums, especially if the floor of the crawlspace or enclosure is more than a foot or two below the BFE.
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Flood insurance is also limited in areas below the lowest elevated floor, depending on the flood zone and date of construction. These areas include:
- Crawl spaces under an elevated building
- Enclosed areas beneath buildings elevated on full-story foundation walls that are sometimes referred to as “walkout basements”
- Enclosed areas under other types of elevated buildings