If you own a home, it is important to understand that your home insurance policy does not cover flood damage. If you live in a flood zone and are interested in protecting your home from flood damage, you will need to get the National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance policy. The NFIP policy can be obtained through an insurance company or the federal government.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has flood maps that are used to determine the flood risks for different areas. Property owners in moderate-to-low risk flood areas typically pay less for their coverage than owners that live in areas that are classified as high-risk flood zones or Special Flood Hazard Areas.
FEMA updates the flood maps regularly. Sometimes, homeowners in areas that aren’t considered high-risk flood zones end up being in Special Flood Hazard Areas after the maps have been updated and have to pay higher premiums.
If you are one of the people that have to pay higher premiums because of updated FEMA road maps, these are some of the things you can do to contest the premium hike.
#1. Submit a Letter of Map Amendment form by using the MT-EZ form if you are requesting amendments for structures or single lots. You should use the MT-1 form for multiple lots. Filling out these forms requires you to provide proof that the property or land is above “the base flood elevation,” which is the level flood is expected to rise up to. If you fill out the Letter of Map Revision, FEMA requires you to have a statement from your local government that says the land is reasonably safe from flooding.
#2. You need to have a licensed professional survey your property to make sure that the lowest floor of your property is higher than the base flood elevation. The surveyor will then have to fill out an Elevation Certificate to get your property reclassified.
#3. If you need support for an LOMR-F letter, you will need to present all pertinent documents to your local government. The forms the local officials have to fill out, and sign can be downloaded from the FEMA website.
#4. Submit all your documents to FEMA. You can do this online if you are filing for a single property. If you are filing for multiple properties, the documents should be mailed to FEMA.