Dear Homeowner/Property Manager,
1. Does your mortgage company require you to carry costly flood insurance?
2. Has your home been free of flood damage since you have owned it?
3. Do you want to eliminate the flood insurance of your property?
4. Are you paying for flood insurance you don’t want?
If you have answered yes to any of these… Read On!!
You are required to carry flood insurance because your mortgage company has determined that at least a portion of your property is located in a SFHA with a 1% annual chance of flooding. The federal government requires flood insurance on properties located in a SFHA unless the flood zone is changed or clarified by FEMA.
In 2004, FEMA began remapping Flood Zones across the United States. As a result, anyone owning property within one of the newly drawn Flood Zones was required to obtain flood insurance.
The fact is that not only you may be paying for undesired insurance, but also properties that have a Flood Zone designation attached to them have lower value. This is due to the Food Zone designation and the additional cost associated with owning the property. In addition, these premiums subsidize properties that are truly in danger of flooding but do not pay premiums accordingly since your premiums contribute to the flood insurance system!
You have the right to dispute the Flood Zone determination and have it changed if it is wrong. Be proactive and get informed. It’s your money you are wasting! Moreover, it is your money you will save each year. In at least 95% of the cases we have reviewed, the flood zone determination was in error and insurance should not be mandated.
In our Initial Consultation with you:
We will advise you as to the likelihood of your property/house/structure(s) to actually be within a Flood Zone.
A Fixed Quote will be given for our services to you. This will involve an actual site visit to determine the on-site information that FEMA requires to be provided to them.
If we determine that your property/house/structure(s) were placed in the wrong Flood Zone we apply on your behalf to FEMA for LOMA (Letter of Map Amendment). We are authorized by FEMA to submit eLOMA (electronic version of LOMA) which in some cases shortens the approval process to just a few days.
What to do next?
Once a LOMA is issued and the Flood Zone is changed for your property, flood insurance is no longer required by FEMA*. You then have two choices:
First, you can cancel your flood insurance policy and obtain a full refund for the current year premium that you have already paid as long as the payment is current and there have been no claims.
Alternatively, you may choose to continue to carry flood insurance through a preferred risk policy and in addition, since the insurance is not obligatory, you can carry any amount of coverage you want.
Premiums are greatly reduced when you choose this option.
* Please keep in mind that lenders may, as part of their standard business practices, require Flood Insurance as a condition of any loan. We encourage you to consult with your lender before requesting a LOMA to find out if the flood insurance requirement will be waived if a LOMA is issued.
eLOMA is a web-based application within the Mapping Information Platform (MIP) that provides Hepworth Land Surveying, as licensed land surveyors, with a system to submit simple Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) requests to FEMA. This tool is designed to make a determination based on the information submitted by the Licensed Professional. Through the use of eLOMA, Licensed Professionals can receive a determination in the time that it takes to enter the required information online. The eLOMA online determination tool is available to our licensed land surveyor, who is registered with FEMA to be eLOMA Licensed Professional, and is authorized to submit applications on behalf of homeowners/landowners. An eLOMA document will serve the same functions as a standard LOMA.
Note that not all LOMA requests qualify to be submitted using the eLOMA tool. At this time, only existing single residential structures or entire legally recorded properties qualify. Also, to submit an eLOMA, the structure or parcel of land can not have been elevated by the placement of fill or be in an A Zone without a Base Flood Elevation (BFE).
Effect of a LOMA or LOMR-F on Flood Insurance Requirements
The issuance of an eLOMA, LOMA or LOMR-F eliminates the Federal flood insurance purchase requirement as a condition of Federal or federally backed financing; however, the mortgage lender retains the prerogative to require flood insurance as a condition of providing financing, regardless of the location of a structure. The purchase of a flood insurance policy is wise even if a structure is located outside the SFHA. More than 25 percent of flood claims are made by property owners located outside the SFHA. The issuance of a LOMA or LOMR-F does not mean the structure or lot is safe from all flooding; it means that the risk of flooding is not as high as it is in the SFHA. Events greater than the 1-percent-annual-chance event can and do occur. It is also to important to note that the flood insurance premium rate for structures located outside the SFHA are lower than the premiums for structures located in the SFHA.
To learn more about flood insurance and receive other answers to questions about the NFIP, please visit Answers to questions about the NFIP.
To learn more about the purchase of flood insurance and the options that are available, please visit Flood Smart.gov.