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Protect Yourself with Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is a wise investment for anyone in Gretna.  Geographically, our city lies at or below sea-level, which makes properties within the city prone to hurricanes, heavy rains, and flooding.

To protect investments, flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, and commercial owners/renters.  All policy types provide coverage for buildings and contents.  Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what’s covered and the property’s flood risk.

Flood Insurance Requirements and Benefits

Properties in Flood Zone AE (high risk area) are required to carry flood insurance if they have a federally backed mortgage.  For properties in Flood Zones X (low to moderate risk area), flood insurance is highly recommended as floods do not respect their boundaries.  Facts show those insured in Zones X, B and C file more than 20 percent of all flood insurance claims through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and receive one-third of federal disaster assistance for flooding.

The maximum policy amount available from the federal government for a single-family residence is $250,000 on the building and $100,000 for contents.

When Should Flood Insurance be Purchased?

You must have an active flood insurance policy at the time of the flooding event to be eligible for any disaster relief or FEMA grant programs.  Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy becomes effective.  Contact your insurance agent to start a policy today.

Keep Flood Insurance Records Safe

Keep your flood policy and an itemized list of furnishings, clothing, and valuables in a safe place, such as a waterproof and fireproof safe.  It is helpful to have photos and receipts of your items as well.  Call your agent or broker immediately if you suffer flood damage.

Zone X – Preferred Risk Policy Information

Zone AE Elevation Certificates: Who Needs Them and Why

If your structure is in Zone AE the Elevation Certificate will have information needed to determine a risk-based insurance policy.

The EC shows:How does it help my insurance rate?
  • Elevation of Lowest Floor
  • Compare the Lowest Floor to the BFE
  • Elevation of Garage
  • The higher your lowest floor is above the BFE, the lower your risk of flooding.
  • Elevation of A/C
  • Lower risk typically means lower flood premiums.
  • Elevation of Ground around structure

Who needs an Elevation Certificate?

Structures in Zone AE should review an Elevation Certificate and Flood Insurance Declaration Pages to ensure Flood Insurance Premiums are rated most cost effectively.

Pre-FIRM vs. Full Risk Rates

  • “Pre-FIRM” rates are being phased out and have the highest rate increases annually.
  • If your lowest floor is at or above the Base Flood Elevation a lower premium may be available buy using a full risk rate.

When do you need a NEW Elevation Certificate?

Some situations may require a new EC and some may not-

Need a New ECDo NOT Need a New EC
  • Substantial changes to your structure
  • Structure information is accurate
  • Converted garage to living space
  • May need new photographs for insurance agent.
  • Elevated your structure, A/C, or Water Heater

Where can I get an Elevation Certificate for my structure?

  • Ask the City of Gretna
    • If your structure was recently built, your certificate may be on file with the Building Department. Call 504-363-1563.
  • Ask the sellers
    • When buying a property, ask a seller to give you their EC or purchase one before settlement.
  • Hire a licensed land surveyor, engineer, or architect
    • For a fee these professionals can complete an EC for you

For more information on purchasing flood insurance, call your local insurance agent or visit the floodsmart.gov website.

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