There are approximately 1,500 residential and commercial structures that sit in floodplains in Henrico and many of them experience issues with drainage. View the County’s floodplain map to find out if your home is located in a floodplain.
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
Most homeowner and renter insurance policies do not cover flood damages. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), one inch of water can cause up to $25,000 of damage. Because the County participates in the NFIP, all County residents are eligible to purchase flood insurance coverage—even if they don’t live in a high-risk flood zone. Flood insurance coverage is available for both buildings and contents, including vehicles. Standard automobile insurance does not cover flooding unless you add comprehensive coverage outside of collision insurance. Learn more about NFIP flood insurance and automobile insurance in Virginia.
In FEMA-identified floodplains, mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements apply to properties utilizing federally backed financial assistance. This includes federally backed mortgages, loans, grants, disaster assistance, and more. In County-identified floodplains, residents are not obligated to purchase flood insurance but are still encouraged to protect their property. Insurance coverage may also be cheaper in County-identified floodplains. In addition to flood insurance coverage, there are some low-cost projects that you can do to protect your home from flooding.
Additionally, Congress or FEMA will occasionally make changes to the NFIP that may impact flood insurance requirements and premium rates. Information on flood insurance rules, regulations, and legislative reform is available on FEMA’s website. The NFIP is currently revising its process for rating flood insurance policies as part of Risk Rating 2.0. This new system leverages several factors unique to your property to determine flood insurance rates, including distance to a flood source, property characteristics, and types and frequency of flooding in your area. If you are an NFIP policyholder, you can contact your insurance company to learn more about the impact of Risk Rating 2.0 on your insurance policy.
The NFIP is revising its process for rating insurance policies as part of a new pricing methodology called Risk Rating 2.0. If you are an NFIP policyholder, you can reach out to your insurance agent to ask about your eligibility for a decrease in your premium based on this program.
Reducing Flood Insurance Premiums
Some property owners may be able to reduce their flood insurance premiums by submitting an Elevation Certificate or retrofitting their structure to reduce potential flood damages. FEMA has several National Flood Insurance Technical Bulletins and Building Science – Flood Publications available with more information on this, such as the Homeowner’s Guide to Retrofitting and Floodproofing Non-Residential Buildings. The National Park Service has also released new Guidelines for Flood Adaptation for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings in 2019.
Henrico County is actively working to join FEMA’s Community System Rating (CRS), an incentive program that rewards communities for flood risk reduction efforts by offering flood insurance discounts for residents. Participating communities are placed in a class based on their level of effort to protect residents and property, inform people, build responsibly, and protect natural floodplains. Once in this program, NFIP policyholders in the county will automatically receive a discount on their flood insurance premiums, whether they live in a high-risk flood zone or not.
The goals of the CRS program include:
- Reducing flood damage to insurable property
- Strengthening and supporting the insurance aspects of the NFIP
- Fostering comprehensive floodplain management
County Mitigation Efforts
Henrico County’s Department of Public Works is making efforts to protect natural floodplains. The Department currently is creating a Countywide floodplain management plan and has implemented different mitigation efforts like acquiring buildings to remove them from the floodplain and stream restoration projects that restore the natural floodplain. The County is still working to develop the program and will provide more information when it is implemented.