Flood Insurance in Oregon and Elevation Certificates - FEMA Mapping has the last word

Flood Insurance - this is the time of year in Oregon people begin to think about it, a bit late but hopefully early enough.  There is a 30 day wait after the application is submitted and paid before it becomes active.  So hold your breath for 30 days.

If you are not in a Preferred Risk area, you will probably be required to get an Elevation Certificate, issued after they were updated in 2008.  The cost for this is around $150 or so, and I am only guessing.  The Elevation Certificate tells the insurance company exactly what the elevation is of your front door, crawl space beneath your house, garage, etc.  Kind of like your auto insurance - what model of Ford Mustang do you have?  The Elevation Certificate will be checked to the FEMA maps to make sure the flood zone identified by the surveyor is correct.  Sometimes it is not.

Sometimes the surveyor will look up your address and enter the flood zone identified at the edge of your property, assuming this is the zone for your entire property.  But flood zones don't follow property maps.  The follow flood maps.  So you could have two or three flood zones crossing on your property.  Several times I have had Elevation Certificates that show a home is actually not in a flood zone, even though the Elevation Certificate ways it is.  This is because the ultimate determination of flood zone is the FEMA map and the indicator that shows where the building or house is on your property.

Flood insurance can run anywhere between $350 to $2,500 in Oregon depending on the specifics of your zone and your elevation compared to the flood elevation.  Remember - 30 day wait is only waived if you are rolling over an existing policy or your mortgagee requires you to purchase it.  Give us a call and let's see what we can do.

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