Source: Sherman Publications

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Flood insurance policies discussed

by Susan Bromley

August 28, 2013

Brandon Twp.- Do you really need flood insurance?

Township residents are invited to learn the answer to this question during a special presentation at 7 p.m., Sept. 9, at the library, 304 South St.

Karol Grove, a professional land surveyor who specializes in flood zone areas, will answer questions and provide information regarding flood insurance requirements during the free program.

Township Supervisor Kathy Thurman organized the event after seeing a presentation by Grove and hearing a resident's concerns regarding the cost of flood insurance.

"I thought we would have community members that would benefit from having a better idea of their options in regards to flood insurance," said Thurman. "We do have flood zones within the township, along Kearsley Creek and some near the drains. I would say flood zones affect a lot of township residents."

New Flood Insurance Rate Maps prepared by the Federal Emergency Management Agency have changed insurance requirements statewide. Due to tougher regulations many Michigan homeowners living on or near water may be required by their mortgage lender to obtain flood insurance.

"Lenders are not qualified to evaluate flood risk, and their attempts to make flood determinations for insurance purposes can lead to a high rate of inaccuracy," said Grove. "The requirement for flood insurance is based on elevation, and a surveyor can determine if the structure is above or below the high risk flood zone."

If the home is above the high risk flood zone, the requirement for flood insurance can be eliminated, she continued, and the homeowner may be entitled to a refund of flood insurance premiums which were paid unnecessarily.

Grove estimates the savings from the elimination of flood insurance can be substantial, with the average policyholder paying $300-$3,000 per year for flood insurance, depending on the value of their home.

"Michigan homeowners need to educate themselves and need to question their lenders concerning flood zone issues," she said. "Your lender telling you that you have to purchase flood insurance does not necessarily mean that you have no other option."

For more information, call the supervisor's office at 248-627-4918.