I am purchasing a home, do I need flood insurance?

A: FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) compiles maps showing areas which have been flooded by bays, rivers, streams and lakes in the last 50-100 years.  If your property is located in such an area the normal homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover damage caused by a flood.  Mortgage lenders order a flood search which determines if you are in an area which requires coverage.  If you are located in a flood plain it is possible to avoid flood insurance if it can be shown that your property is located high enough above sea level to preclude flooding.  To do so an engineer must prepare a flood elevation certificate showing the elevation (number of feet above sea level) of the property.