how large property is assessed for flood risk


Hurricane season is here and while insuring your home from flooding can be as simple as consulting a flood service provider; protecting large, commercial properties such as a college campus or office complexes can be somewhat of a challenge. Here are ways insurance companies estimate your large property’s risk for flooding.

  • Base Flood Elevation (BFE) – There should be a three foot difference in the building’s floor elevation and the base flood elevation of the closest body of water. Hillside and multilevel buildings will need to take this into account with their underwriter.
  • High Rises/Hotels – You may not think a high rise or hotel would be in danger of flood as little damage may occur to the actual building itself. However, most electrical and HVAC equipment are located in the basement and a loss of those services due to flood water could shut down the entire building. These services are also subject to backup of sewers and drains.  Remember, take steps to locate critical or high valued equipment either on floors above the BFE, or in a separate building built on raised ground.
  • Large Campuses - Some carriers require a separate flood check on each building, and this makes sense if the buildings are scattered over a large area - a college campus would be a good example.
  • Apartments/Office Complexes - For risks involving buildings in close proximity, a flood survey may be conducted for at least one building. In addition, a flood map will be requested that will cover that location and all of the remaining buildings in the complex.

As you assess your flood protection needs remember no two properties are the same. Even if you do not think your property is in a flood zone, remember if it rains, it floods.