Did you know that most homeowner's insurance policies do not cover damages caused by flood? Flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program is often the only coverage available for damages and losses due to flooding. Flood insurance is available in participating communities not only for homeowners, but also for condominium associations and unit owners, renters, businesses and other non-residential building owners.
If you have recently purchased a building located in a flood zone or Special Flood Hazard Area, and you have a loan with a federally regulated lender, you will be required to purchase flood insurance. This federal mandatory purchase requirement can also be triggered by your lenders periodic portfolio review, or through the refinancing process. If you believe that your building is incorrectly included in a Special Flood Hazard Area there is a formal process in place to challenge your insurance requirement. The Letter of Map Amendment or LOMA process allows property owners to submit mapping and survey data (such as a FEMA Elevation Certificate) for review by FEMA in order to determine if a structure is located in the SFHA. If the determination finds that the property is not located in the floodplain, FEMA will issue a Letter of Map Amendment that amends the Flood Insurance Rate Map to remove the structure or property from the SFHA. The Federal flood insurance requirement would no longer apply. However, it is important to note that the lender may still require flood insurance, although it would be available at a lower rate.
Development in the floodplain must meet all local, state, and federal regulations. Most communities have a floodplain zoning bylaw that contains local floodplain regulations. The State Building Code, Section 3107, defines the state level floodplain construction requirements for new buildings and substantial improvements of existing buildings. The Wetlands Protection Act and Title V include land use regulations that apply in the floodplain. For more information on the regulations that may apply to your project, please visit our Information for Local Officials and Developers page.
FEMA Condominium Flood Insurance: http://www.fema.gov/pdf/nfip/manual201105/content/06_condo.pdf
FEMA Flood Insurance Info for Renters: https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/residential_coverage/renter.jsp
FEMA Coverage Page: http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pdfs/NFIP_Summary_of_Coverage.pdf
FEMA Elevation Certificate: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/160?id=1383
FEMA LOMA Information: https://www.fema.gov/floodplain-management/letter-map-amendment-loma
Above the Flood-Elevating your Floodprone House: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/725
Homeowners Guide to Retrofitting: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/480
NFIP Summary of Coverage Document: http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=3011
Engineering Principles and Practices of Retrofitting Floodprone Residential Structures: http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=1645