Can a Flood Change Your Property Line?

December 10, 2020 2:56 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The risk of flooding can change a lot of things about your home: its selling price, insurance rates and even its property line. As you may already know, living in a high-risk flood area means that you need to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This is to protect your investment. While you can opt out of flood insurance in some circumstances, you’ll need a property survey in Mobile, AL to prove your home isn’t at risk.

If your home has been affected by a flood, you might need a flood claim survey to determine the new boundaries of your property. Sometimes land can suddenly wash away (or be deposited in a new area) during a flood. The only way to tell where your property lines begin and end is to have a professional survey conducted.

Can floods change how much land I own?

Yes, floods can change your property boundaries. Like other natural disasters, floods are capable of moving or displacing the earth. When you suddenly gain or lose a significant amount of land, that is called avulsion.

Avulsion means that you still own the land according to the title, although the natural boundaries may look different. This usually affects homes near bodies of water, however—the average homeowner in the suburbs probably won’t notice a significant gain or loss in land after a flood, assuming the subdivision is mostly standing afterward.

If the avulsion looks to be permanent, getting a flood claim survey in Mobile, AL to delineate your home’s natural boundaries is advisable.

What if my home is on a floodplain but the elevation is higher?

If you live on a floodplain but think your home should be exempt from NFIP coverage, you can make a case for that. Your flood insurance is determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood maps as well as your individual home’s elevation. If your home is above the base flood elevation, you may be able to file a Letter of Map Change and Letter of Map Amendment.

For example, you may own property on a floodplain, but your actual house is built on a higher elevation than the rest of the land. Proving a low risk of flooding can save you money on insurance premiums or exempt you from needing coverage at all.

To successfully exempt your home from mandatory coverage, you’ll need an elevation certificate. This document describes your property, including how far your ground floor is located above the base flood elevation. Getting an elevation certificate requires working with a professional state-licensed surveyor. You can contact your state’s NFIP coordinator for suggestions, or search with state licensing boards to see who can perform a flood claim survey in Mobile, AL.

Whether your property boundaries have changed due to natural events or you want to get better insurance rates, working with a professional surveyor is key to your success. For more information about flood-related surveys and how we can help, call the team at Polysurveying today.

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