Flood Insurance

On Tuesday, I attended an informative seminar on the ever changing flood insurance industry.

Key points:

1) The  updated FEMA flood maps have been approved, and are referenced by insurance companies to quote a flood policy.  The standard zone for most of the island is “A”.  There are fewer “V” zones (considered a location of high risk), plus the addition of “X” zones (the  highest elevation locations with lowest risk).

2) Locations off the island may now be classified within a flood zone- and therefore a lender may require a buyer to obtain flood insurance before closing.

3) Even if a property is located in the higher “X” zone, an owner is wise to maintain flood insurance.

4) A Flood Elevation Certificate is required to obtain a flood policy quote.  The certificate will specify the elevation of the curb (the street), the elevation of the structure, and the details of the crawl space venting.  This document is prepared by a surveyor/engineer.

5) Non-conforming structures will continue to pay an increase of 20- 25% each year until the policy reaches the max rate.  Non-primary home owners pay a $250 surcharge each year.

6) Past flood insurance claims remain on the records for the property- even after a sale.  After 3 claims, FEMA may decline new coverage unless the  owner makes changes to bring the property into compliance (elevating the structure, adding vents).

7) There are higher deductible policies available as an option to save costs.  However, a lender may not approve of a high deductible if the policy is obtained for a new purchase.

If you have any questions regarding flood insurance, I am happy to suggest local insurance agents and/or survey companies to help.

609-967-7950         ann.delaney@timkerrsir.com



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