Property owners will soon be able to save money on flood insurance

San Antonio homeowners will be eligible for a discount on their flood insurance this fall.

The city proved that there is a flood risk reduction because their floodplain management efforts exceed the minimum requirements set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“This FEMA announcement is an acknowledgment that the city is moving in the right direction when it comes to protecting our residents and their property from the safety risks of flooding,” said District 7 Councilmember Ana Sandoval, who often advocates drainage needs.

The discount goes up to 20 percent for homeowners living in the floodplain and 10 percent for those outside of it as of Oct. 1. San Antonio joins more than 1,500 participating communities across the country.

Average flood insurance policy costs about $700 per year, according to the Texas Department of Insurance. But homeowners who live outside of a high-risk flood zone can generally buy a federal flood policy for less than $500 a year.

San Antonio will join class six of the program. Property owners in class one receive the highest discounts, up to a 45 percent discount for residents who live in a floodplain.

Owners of homes and businesses in a floodplain are required to have flood insurance by mortgage lenders, under the National Flood Insurance Act.

Homeowners can see if their home or neighborhood is in the floodplain by checking the San Antonio River Authority website. digital floodplain map.

Program goals include reducing flood damage to insurable property and encouraging comprehensive floodplain management.

More than 70 other communities in Texas participate or will join the federal incentive program this fall. Residents of nearby Leon Valley, Live Oak, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Austin and Guadalupe counties can also take advantage of the discounts.

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San Antonio’s drainage need may seem staggering: Officials estimate that $3.1 billion worth of projects are needed. The new voter-approved 2022 bond program is one way the city is making a dent in that need.

At the polls, the drainage and flood control proposal received more support than any other part of the bond program. He got 71.9 percent approval to spend $169.9 million on 23 projects.

It is still only a fraction of the resources the city needs for drainage, which are normally expensive projects to undertake.

Sandoval, who has focused on environmental health concerns like flooding, worked with West Side Councilwoman Teri Castillo this year to propose a committee that will create a flood control master plan for San Antonio.

The hope is that a citizens’ advisory committee will allow residents more say in how the city determines which drainage projects to fund and when.

Floodplain management is often complex and crosses political boundaries. The opportunity for residents to address it should be ongoing, rather than limited to a once-every-five-year process with a citizens’ bond committee, advocates argued.

A smaller group of City Council members agreed in late May to send Sandoval and Castillo’s proposal to another council committee to discuss the details.

City staff had proposed sending the measure directly to a full City Council vote to establish the flood control task force, but some weren’t ready to do so, saying they needed to figure out how to include real estate experts without introducing a conflict of interests. .

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FEMA’s new discount program is a recognition of the work the city has already done, Sandoval said in a statement.

“While there is still much work to be done, today’s announcement is a step in the right direction,” Sandoval said. “It’s also a tangible way our city can save homeowners money on home maintenance.”

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