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What is an Elevation Certificate and When is it Required?

There are many things we often consider prior to purchasing property. One of the things that we need to be aware of is the location of the property, or more specifically, whether it is in an area that is prone to flooding. In fact, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requires that all new or improved buildings in flood-prone areas have proper elevation. They ensure this by using elevation certificates to determine whether the property in question is susceptible to flooding. 

Flood Insurance

Since 2013, every condo or home sold in Rhode Island must have a flood insurance addendum to an offer to purchase. This addendum is important because it helps to inform potential buyers of the cost of flood insurance based on the corresponding elevation certificate. This helps buyers to understand the additional costs that they may incur should they purchase the home. 

Elevation Certificates

Elevation certificates are important because they include information such as the location of the property, the building characteristics, the flood zone, and the lowest floor’s elevation. These certificates are issued by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and certified by a licensed architect, engineer, or surveyor. Using the base flood elevation required by flood plain management ordinances, this certificate helps to determine the rate of your flood insurance premium. 

Flood insurance is separate coverage not included in a homeowner’s regular insurance policy. Individuals with mortgages must have flood insurance that matches at least the amount of your mortgage. Your property can be foreclosed upon if you do not have the minimum requirement. Since Rhode Island is a coastal state, near lakes and rivers, with area more prone to storm waves, tidal surges, having flood insurance is extremely important for Rhode Island homeowners.

Can You Remove Your Home from the Special Flood Hazard Area?

Should your home be located in a high-risk zone that is still above the Base Flood Elevation, you may be able to have it removed from the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) by filing a Letter of Map Change (LOMC). This would then allow you to convert the flood insurance policy that you currently have to a Preferred Risk Policy (PRP), which is less expensive.

PALUMBO LAW Helps Those in Rhode Island with their Water Damage Claims

When you are already stressed and dealing with paying to fix damage in your home caused by water, the last thing that you want to have to worry about it damage claim denial. That’s where a qualified property damage attorney, specializing in water damage, can help. 

At PALUMBO LAW, our experienced Rhode Island Property Insurance lawyers work strategically to help our clients to get what they deserve. We have deep experience working with insurance companies and understand how to deal with them. If you are planning on filing a water damage claim, or if have already filed your claim and been denied, we can help. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, call us today!