Moving Family Forward

As we welcome April weather, we also welcome a heavy amount of thunderstorms and rain around this time of year. With this, the flood risk on properties across the state are exponentially increased. Whether at home or your business, the potential for excess rain flow to seep through a weak foundation should be taken seriously.

 

Can I get flood insurance to cover me from my home flooding even if I’m not in a floodplain? 

Yes! You do not need to be located in a floodplain to acquire flood insurance. Just like most insurance premiums, premiums are based on risk level among other factors. The benefit to not living in a floodplain and choosing to get flood insurance, means that your premium will be cheaper than those who do reside in a floodplain. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says that 25% of their flood clients are not located in a floodplain.

 

However, if your home is miles away from a body of water, we do recommend getting flood insurance even if you’re not in the floodplain.

 

When I first bought my home, flood insurance was not required. Now that I may sell or refinance my home, why is it now required? 

Flood maps change. Flood maps show a community’s risk of flooding. Specifically, flood maps show a community’s flood zone, floodplain boundaries, and base flood elevation.

 

When you originally purchased your home, the lowest elevation of your lot may have been lower than the original floodplain. Over time, the flood map will change due to environmental changes. If FEMA has since updated the flood map, and the lowest elevation of your lot now exists on the flood map, you may have to acquire flood insurance. However, if your home is above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), there is a chance you can get around purchasing flood insurance.



How do I know if I need flood insurance?

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) administered by FEMA draws up floodplain maps based on elevations and scientific data about where flooding may occur. 

 

There is nothing that requires you to have flood insurance just because you own a house. However, if you’re borrowing money to purchase a home, or refinance a home that now exists in a floodplain, then you are now required to have flood insurance coverage. 

 

Now, if your property line lays within the floodplain, but your home does not, there are ways to get around paying a flood insurance premium.

 

Do I still need flood insurance if only part of my property is in the floodplain map, but not the structure?

Maybe. If the floodplain map shows your property on the map, and the bottom of your structure lays below the floodplain line, then you are required to purchase flood insurance. However, you can get the flood map changed. First, you need to get a flood elevation certificate. This shows the elevation of the floodplain and the elevation of the lowest part of your structure. If your property is above the floodplain, then you can get the floodplain map changed and waive your requirement to get flood insurance.

 

I have the flood elevation certificate… now what?

In order to avoid having flood insurance, you’ll need the flood map changed. You must file for a Letter of Map Adjustment (LOMA). You’ll need the information from the certificate before you can submit an online LOMA request. 

 

Flood insurance coverage is not included in a basic commercial property package or homeowners insurance policy.The damage done by a flood can be crippling to your finances, not to mention the liability a flood can cause is enough to give anyone more than just a headache.

 

April is a beautiful time of year in Alabama, however as a homeowner, you need to be cautious about flood hazards in and around your property line. Homeowners interested in learning more about flood insurance coverage can contact Weber Mortgage today at 205-751-8583.