Why is my property
located in a flood zone?
maps are issued by The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
as an end result of a general study of a large area. This study does
not evaluate individual properties and is very broad based in nature.
These areas are then determined to be Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA).
A SFHA is an area that has been determined to have a 1% annual
chance of flooding in 100 years and FEMA requires mandatory
flood insurance on property located in a SFHA. Your property
was not studied by FEMA individually. This is why there is a 60% margin of error in the flood maps.
Where do I
find the documents for my free evaluation?
property deed- The original
property deed is sent to the local county clerks office when you
close on your property to be recorded and it becomes part of the
public records. You should receive the original recorded document
from the office that handled your property closing approximately
1 month after the closing. If you do not have
the document contact the closing agent and request the original.
Or for faster results go to the clerks office in your community
and request a certified copy.
survey or plat map- This item is called many
things however it does not matter what it is called as long as
we have it!! Most of the time when you purchase your property the mortgage company requires a survey of the property showing
the boundaries and the structures located on the property. This
should be in your closing documents. If you do not locate it
there check with the local building department to see if they
have a copy of your survey in the permit file for your home.
you are not successful in finding a survey for your property
the other document that we can accept is a plat map from the
zoning or planning department or a tax map from the property
appraisers office. These maps show the location of your
property in relation to the other properties and streets in your
certificate- An elevation certificate is provided by a
licensed surveyor. You may have one in your closing
documents. If not check with the local building department to
see if there is one in your permit file or check with the builder
that sold you your property. If you are currently
carrying flood insurance your insurance agent should have asked
you for an elevation certificate to write your policy in the
correct risk category. Ask them for a copy. If they do
not have one ask them how they rated your premiums
If you are
still unsuccessful at locating an elevation certificate you
will need to hire a local surveyor to provide the elevation certificate
for you. The elevation certificate will help
us determine if your property can be removed from the flood zone
or, if your property cannot be removed from the flood zone it will allow
your insurance agent to rate you accurately and give you the best rate. The
average cost of an elevation certificate is $350.00 and while
you may be hesitant to spend the money, you will save far more
that you spend in the long run.
about my mortgage company?
mortgage company obtains a flood zone
determination prior to the closing
of a loan to determine if the property is located in a SFHA.
These determinations are done by any company chosen by the
lender. If the flood zone determination
(right or wrong) comes back and states your property is in a
SFHA then by law the lender must require flood insurance on the
have a right to dispute this and once
the flood zone is changed the lender
will remove the requirement for flood insurance. A copy of the flood zone change
must be given to the lender in order for them to remove the
flood insurance requirement.
What about my flood insurance
Once the flood
zone is changed on your property mandatory flood insurance is no longer
required by FEMA. You then have 2 choices.
you can cancel your current national flood insurance
policy (NFIP) and obtain a full
refund for the current premium year that you have already paid
as long as the payment is current and there have been no claims. We
will provide the forms to obtain your refund.
Or you may choose to
continue to carry flood insurance through a preferred risk policy
and since the insurance is not required you can carry any amount
of coverage you want. You do not need to carry the full amount of your mortgage
if you choose. Premiums are greatly reduced when you choose this