Michael Travis

Flood Insurance

FLOOD INSURANCE__DO I NEED IT?  The world is seeing all kinds of crazy weather these days.  I remember the "Mother's Day" flood in 2006 when it rained 13 inches in two days. I couldn't get out of y road for a week. So you never know.

FEMA has recently updated their maps to determine what properties are considered in a Flood Zone. This impacts you as a buyer since a lender will not provide a mortgage without a flood insurance rider paid for in advance of the closing if one is needed. And it isn't cheap. It doesn't mattter if you are married to the insurance broker--the cost is dictated by the federal government. You may be able to get a high deductible. We are still talking about a policy that could cost between $1,000 - 1,700 a year.

WHAT IS A FLOOD ZONE PROPERTY? Some guy in a dark government room looks at available data and arial photos and draws a rough line around a lake. Go to the FEMA site and plug in an address of the property you are considering to buy at: www.FEMA.gov. I have had listings that wouldn't flood even if NOAH was building an Arc, and there was a reverse gravitational pull on the earth.

SO WHAT HAPPENS IF THE PROPERTY IS CONSIDERED IN A FLOOD ZONE? First you would need an "elevation certificate" which can be performed by a qualified surveyor. If the house on the lake shows to be higher than the spillover height (in the case of a lake held back by a dam) or by other factors that can determine the maximum lake height, then the surveyor can send to FEMA a form to adjust the flood zone maps--(which takes about 6-8 weeks) If FEMA accepts the findings, then your property will not require flood insurance again. Don't expect a seller to even know about this problem, or to have acquired a elevation certificate. Most sellers would put in their disclosures that their house is not in a flood zone if they are not currently paying for flood insurance. Certainly a current owner wouldn't voluntarily let their insurance company know that their house in a flood zone so they could have the privilege of forking out $1700 a year for insurance. What you need to know as a buyer is to find out before you make an offer on a property if flood insurance is going to become an issue.

Here is some info about Flood Insurance

Here are some Flood Insurance Basics.

Find you Home to see if it is in a Flood Zone

Myths & Myth about the Flood Insurance Program

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