Frequently Asked Questions
You have questions, we have answers!
The imposition of mandatory flood coverage is not fair and more than 50 percent of high-risk flood zone designations are wrong! A standard flood zone determination merely notes a property's location on FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and fails to identify characteristics unique to individual structures. Many of these maps are outdated. Further, elevation certificate errors and omissions misrepresent a property's actual flood risk and cause an insurance agent to incorrectly rate the flood policy.
Absolutely! Not all flood risk is equal. A location on a FEMA flood map should not be the only resource used to determine the flood risk of an individual structure. It pays to verify with a flood risk evaluation.
Generally, if the lender requires flood coverage and you are paying for flood insurance; if you have not filed a flood claim; and if the structure is not a mobile home; you
may qualify for flood zone reclassification. Take the first step, a free flood risk evaluation to determine if the property qualifies.
Not a penny! Flood Insurance Solutions believes that every property owner has a right to know the true flood risk of their home or building. As a public service, we provide this comprehensive evaluation free of charge with no obligation.
The cost of an elevation certificate varies by property location and type. Flood Insurance Solutions has a national network of licensed land surveyors and engineers which allows for fair and competitive pricing. Obtain a no-obligation quote here.
If the flood risk evaluation indicates that the high-risk flood zone is correct, you have an expert review and justification for the flood insurance requirement.
With your approval, Flood Insurance Solutions will petition FEMA to reclassify the property into a low to moderate-risk flood zone. Upon acceptance of our findings, FEMA will issue a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) to remove the property from the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
A letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) is a final flood zone determination that is issued by FEMA after performing a detailed analysis of the flood risk associated with a structure (building or home). FEMA issues a LOMA or LOMR to remove the structure from the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), commonly
referred to as a high-risk flood zone, and place the structure into the correct flood zone, a low-risk flood zone, where flood insurance is not required.
Yes. FEMA issues a LOMA or LOMR to evidence that the structure has been removed from the SFHA. FEMA's final flood zone determination supersedes the determinations provided by lenders and insurance companies. The LOMA or LOMR removes the federal flood insurance requirement that the lender imposes. Lenders accept this final determination.
If the property owner obtains a written waiver of the lender's flood insurance requirement and has not filed a flood claim in the current policy year, the property owner may cancel the NFIP flood insurance policy and receive a refund of the premium paid in the current year. From that point, the property owner has the option to choose the level of flood insurance coverage that meets needs and budgets instead of being forced to purchase an amount of flood insurance coverage dictated by a third party.
For single-family properties, a one-time flat fee of $395; for commercial properties, a one-time flat fee equal to the property's annual insurance premium or amount of premium reduction, whichever is applicable. All fees are contingency based, meaning, you only pay if we're successful in removing the property from a high-risk flood zone or reducing the premium.
Once FEMA approves reclassification of a property to a low-moderate risk flood zone, you can request a written waiver of the flood insurance requirement from the lending institution to provide to your insurance agent or broker.
Flood zone reclassification is a complex process that can take three months to a year to complete. It is best to evaluate a property at least a year prior to the flood insurance policy renewal date.
Upon receipt of a waiver of the flood insurance requirement from your lender, you can cancel your flood insurance policy and receive a full or pro-rated refund of the premium. You may also choose to obtain a Preferred Risk Policy, which offers coverage at a lower cost. Commercial property owners should inquire whether coverage is available under a master property insurance program.
Following flood zone reclassification, a single-family homeowner can expect to save the amount paid in annual premium every year.
The average commercial property owner saves $10,000 every year per property, which may add $140,000 of new value to the property that can be captured at refinance or disposition by capitalizing the new earnings (savings).
By eliminating the requirement to maintain flood insurance, the home or building becomes less expensive to own and operate than comparable homes and buildings. This expense reduction increases property value and makes the property more attractive to buyers.
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"For every $5,000 a year your flood insurance goes up, you're losing $100,000 in property value."