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Flood Insurance
Posted on Jan 6th, 2012

1. If you are currently in a Flood Zone and currently insured:
Check the county's website for the effect the new maps will have on base flood at your home. Talk to your insurance carrier about the base flood change and the effect it may have on your rates. The understanding is if the structure stays continually insured, it should be grandfathered in at the current rate.  This means the owner would be unaffected by the new maps from a rate perspective. This effort could be started now.

2. If they are currently in Zone X (no or minimal flood risk, no insurance required), and are being put into a Flood Zone by the new maps:
Contact a surveyor about getting an elevation certificate or a determining the likelihood of being granted a LOMA (Letter of Map Amendment). The elevation certificate will be needed for an insurance agent to give a rate quote based upon the house elevation to the proposed base flood. If a LOMA is granted no insurance will be required. If this is done collectively it will be less expensive then it is for every homeowner to hire an individual surveyor to for their own home. Collective conversations with a surveyor should started so that fee’s can be worked out and a contract can be in place at the time the Board approves the maps (May 2012).

3. If a single family home or a condominium has a LOMA currently:
As the maps get finalized, FEMA will evaluate all existing LOMA’s to see if they will still apply after the base flood elevation changes. If the LOMA does not meet the new criteria then Flood Insurance will be required.

A few facts to keep in mind:

1.  If someone owns their house outright (no mortgage) there should be no requirement to purchase flood insurance even if placed in a Flood Zone.
2.  If someone is put into a Flood Zone and they don’t purchase Flood Insurance willingly. The mortgage holder will “force place” insurance that will undoubtedly be at a higher rate.
3.  Everyone is better off being proactive on the issue.




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