Flood Insurance / Elevation certificate

12 Replies

Hey Everyone,

Wanted to reach out to see if anyone can assist us in our current situation.

Situation: 

Closing on a 12 unit property in Hampton, NH this week. We are getting quotes of flood insurance around $10,000. We believe this number is very high. Wondering if anyone in the NH area can refer us to a good insurance agent that may help us out. 

Also we are looking for a land surveyor, if anyone has a good reference, to get an elevation certificate. Seeing that our first unit is a basement and not "living space". 

Thank you in advanced.

Best regards,

I would recommend checking google earth and USGS topo maps before hiring a surveyor to make sure it looks like you are actually out off the flood plain. You don’t want to spend hundreds just to find out you are 20 ft. below the flood elev. A nice surveyor (especially if they have plenty of work) will probably give you an idea of where you stand. 

Get several prices. Surveyors familiar with the area can be significantly cheaper. 

Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Some will run a level circuit to determine elevation. This is the proper, but more expensive, method. Others will quote you using GPS. 

Pretty much the entire Town of Hampton is in the flood plain and it is extremely flat, I can almost guarantee they are in the flood plain. Especially if they are telling him he needs flood insurance, the flood plain line on the FEMA map crosses his property. It all depends what elevation FEMA has assigned for the flood plain where his building is located.

Either way get the elevation cert, as having this in hand can reduce your premiums as without the elevation cert you are always quoted the highest premiums VS your actual base flood elevation measurements...

I once had a property removed from flood plane went from AE to X via a elevation cert and a LOMA - Letter of Map amendment. 

Also call FEMA and request historical flood claims on the property. it is public info

thx and good luck.

Chris

As far as the flood insurance rate goes, it will be the same with any insurance agent because it is a government program.  If "full flood coverage" is not required by a lender, that might be a way to save money.  Most investors do a lot of their own reno work in order to save money.  If it would cost $1M for a general contractor to rebuild from a flood, but you feel you can do it for $500k, then you can choose to only carry $500k worth of coverage, reducing your annual premium.  Always check with lenders on required coverage limits.  I recommend finding a well-known independent insurance agent to conduct all your business with, as they will have the most options for you.

@Joes Juan Hey man, this girl saved my bacon on a flip this year. Found a policy for our buyer that was THOUSANDS less than the .gov quotes (now that subsidies are gone). Would have lost the deal without her. Give her a call.

Jessica St. Amand

Cross Insurance, Manchester

As @Chris Masons pointed out, there is a secondary market for flood insurance, you do not have to get it from FEMA. you can also check FEMA online, there they have maps that you can zoom into your property and get an exact marking for what level the property is. however, it does not matter if your units are a certain distance above grade, the problem lies with your basement, you have a basement, you have to pay flood insurance, especially if the mechanical are down there. the only way around that at that point is to raise the mechanical and fill in the basement with stone, FEMA site will even tell you that.