Flood zones are always of concern to Lake Charles home buyers. When assisting buyers in finding a home in Southwest Louisiana the first question the buyer usually has is whether the property is in a flood zone or not.
There have been revisions made to the flood maps for Calcasieu Parish. New flood maps went into effect February 18,2011. Calcasieu Parish Flood Zones have changed. Homeowners who previously were in a flood zone may no longer be in a flood zone. If a homeowner is no longer in a flood zone, the homeowner may contact their lender and notify the lender their property has been re-classified. The lender will then run a new base elevation to document the flood zone and the homeowner may receive a refund for their flood insurance. The National Flood Insurance , NFIP does not allow you to cancel your insurance mid stream. As long as there is a lien on your property with a lender, you must continue to keep your flood insurance in place.
If your property has been re-classified to now be in a flood zone you may or may not be required by your lender to obtain flood insurance. Although you may not be required to obtain flood insurance, for your current residence , when you sell your property the new buyer will be required to purchase flood insurance. Obtaining a flood elevation certificate will also reduce the cost of your flood insurance. An elevation certificate usually costs about $250.
I had the opportunity to discuss flood insurance with Kelly Lee, owner of Kelly Lee Insurance located at 217 W. Prien Lake Road in Lake Charles. Kelly Lee gives some insight into why someone can’t just up and cancel their flood insurance and what the guidelines are for the new flood zone revisions.