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"flood level"

Posted by regina in IL on March 29th, 2000 10:59 PM
In reply to Raising my house several inches. by Mike on March 28th, 2000 10:25 PM [Go to top of thread]

Mike, my experience as an attorney is that when an insurance company talks about "flood level," what they really mean is that the property shows on the plat or the army corps of engineers maps as being in a flood plain. If that's the case for you, you could put your house on stilts and it wouldn't make a difference to the insurance company. The geography would be the same. I once had to have a client pay for flood insurance on a fourth-floor condominium, because the building was located on land designated in the city plat and army corps maps as a 100-year flood plain. I suggest you start by asking the insurance company if they show the land as being in a flood plain. Then speak to someone at city hall (or the county recorder) to find out how the land is designated, and then check for any improvements which may justify an update of that designation (such as millions of dollars in storm sewers, retention ditches, etc., having been put in after the time of the original flood plain designation). To get the flood plain designation changed, you'll likely need to hire a lawyer, but it will sure be cheaper than the cost of raising the house, or even moving. While you're doing all this research, you may want to visit the local historical society and see if anyone knows flooding stories about the area. Even with insurance, it's devastating to go through, and if it's something that does periodically occur there, then Jim's right about moving, whether or not you "raise" your house. Good Luck.

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