LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) - Rising waters this year have left homeowners across the Coulee Region looking for answers as they fix their homes and prepare for future flood waters.
Most home owner's insurance policies don't cover flood damage, but an alternative method of protection is available using federal assistance.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, better known as FEMA, offers a elevation certificate which more accurately assesses the risk your home faces from flood waters. Essentially it determines at what elevation flood waters first hit your home - for most that's the basement of first floor.
The document takes a much more precise measurement of that elevation, which could save you money on insurance premiums over time.
On Tuesday, members of the City of La Crosse's Floodplain Advisory Committee discussed the benefits of the certificates, and whether it's a good idea for everyone to apply for one.
"If you've a subsidized policy and you're continually being increased because you're in a flood plain, maybe you want to take a look at getting an elevation certificate to see what your true risk is," said Doug Kerns, a Flood Plain Manager for the City of La Crosse. "As that premium increases, you may hit a point where the elevation certificate says wait a minute, you don't need to pay as much."
FEMA suggests filing out the certificate will take at least three hours. You will have to include at least two pictures of your home if you want to obtain flood insurance from the certificate. A land surveyor, engineer, or architect will help you complete the process.
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