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Defining the Non-Guaranteed Determination

A Non-Guaranteed Determination is any product containing a FEMA flood zone where the provider does not guarantee the result. If you are from the lending industry, you may not have heard of this because you need guaranteed results for most all lending tasks to be federally compliant and have those results printed on a Standard Flood Hazard Determination Form. But in the insurance, communication, real estate, appraisal, and property management industries, there are dozens of uses for a Non-Guaranteed Determination because, frankly, it is a lot cheaper. You may be paying $8 for a Life of Loan Determination (if you pay more, contact MassiveCert sales) or less than $4 for the same Determination without the monitoring.

FEMA Flood Zones and the Mandatory Purchase Requirement

This article is written to aid the general public in understanding the mandatory purchase requirement and FEMA’s flood zone designations. It describes the FEMA zones and the mandatory purchase requirement at a high level and provides some details for those who have interest in nuances.

What is a pre-FIRM Flood Insurance Discount?

Pre-FIRM flood insurance means you can receive discounted flood insurance premiums from the federal government because your house was built before FEMA created a flood map for your property.

For most properties, pre-FIRM flood insurance discounts are available if your property was built before 12/1/1974. The actual date varies a little bit because all the flood maps were not created at the same time, so you’ll have to check with a professional (like MassiveCert) to know the exact date. If your property was built before a builder could have known about the flood risk, then you get a special discount on your flood insurance premiums.

Flood Compliance Is Not Flood Safety

So, you had a concern when you purchased your home that you might be required to get flood insurance because there are high risk flood zones nearby. Luckily, your lender said you are not mapped into one of those Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA or the “100-year flood”), so, of course you didn’t get flood insurance because it wasn’t required – right?

Well, you might want to reconsider that decision because Mother Nature doesn’t care about compliance with home purchasing requirements in the USA. You may not be safe from flood risk even if you are “compliant”, but there is a way to find out what your flood risk is.

How to get a Free FEMA Elevation Certificate

Yes, you can get a free FEMA Elevation Certificate and it’s not that hard to do. An Elevation Certificate can be used over and over again – all you have to do is update the photos in the document. It’s perfectly legal and accepted practice by FEMA, but not everybody knows about it.

Here’s how to do it step-by-step.

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