Would you like to reduce or eliminate Federal Flood Insurance altogether?
Does it surprise you that even though you’ve been told you need FEMA Flood Insurance, that you might not need it at all?
And, did you know that even when FEMA maps your house in a flood zone that the FEMA mapping could be incorrect?
In this Foster Survey Company Solutions case study, we’ll investigate an example where two homeowners, Mary and Joe, discover that the FEMA mapping of their property is incorrect and that flood insurance is now not mandatory.
More importantly, you’ll learn how Foster Survey Company can work with you and FEMA, by preparing an eLOMA Letter of Map Amendment, to remove your house from the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), effectively eliminating Federal flood insurance purchase as a condition of Federal or federally backed financing.
Foster Survey Company Solutions: eLOMA Eliminates Federal Flood Insurance
Mary and Joe own a home with waterfront property on a lake in Glocester, RI. They pay Federal Flood Insurance because their house is located within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), as shown on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for their property.
Specifically, the FIRM shows that a SFHA AE flood zone, with a Base Flood Elevation (BFE) elevation of 646, bisects their house. Mary and Joe questioned the FEMA mapping because:
- The lake’s elevation is controlled by a dam and overflow (well removed from, and flowing away from their property), and they could visibly see the lake’s high water mark, closely related to the average water’s edge along their property, which is about 100 feet from their house, and
- Their house is much higher in elevation above the lake.
Flood Mapping and Site Analysis
The first thing we checked was the flood map, which did show the flood zone extending away from the lake’s edge and bisecting their house. Adjacent wetlands and generally low-lying areas of land along a lake, where the flood zone would extend beyond the lake’s edge, could explain the FEMA mapping.
However, when we visited the site it was clear that wasn’t the case. The house was, indeed, built on a natural hill and elevated higher than the lake. But, the question is: How much higher is their house above the lake and FEMA mapped AE Base Flood Elevation (BFE) of 646 feet?
The answer to that question was found by surveying the elevations and preparing a FEMA Flood Elevation Certificate.
Our elevation survey determined that the lowest floor of the house is at elevation 658.5, or 12.5 feet in elevation above the FEMA mapped flood zone! Even the house’s Lowest Adjacent Grade (LAG), at elevation 657.0, is 11 feet above the flood zone elevation!
The Foster Survey Company Solution
Knowing that the house is above the flood zone, even though mapped in that flood zone, and that the house has not been raised by the placement of fill, we prepared and submitted an eLOMA Letter of Map Amendment for Mary and Joe to remove their house from the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
FEMA quickly reviewed and approved the online submitted eLOMA Letter of Map Amendment, issuing a Letter of Map Amendment Determination Document removing Mary and Joe’s house from the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), effectively eliminating Federal flood insurance purchase as a condition of Federal or federally backed financing.
While Mary and Joe may no longer be required to buy flood insurance, they, and you, should consider the following FEMA information and advice:
Effect of an eLOMA, 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 important to note that the flood insurance premium rates for structures located outside the SFHA are lower than the premiums for structures located in the SFHA.
How You Can Use An eLOMA to Eliminate Federal Flood Insurance
If you are paying for flood insurance, are now being asked to buy flood insurance, or are buying a residential structure that needs flood insurance, but question whether the structure is elevated above the FEMA mapped flood zone, Foster Survey Company can help.
Like Mary and Joe’s story, the first step is to order a FEMA Flood Elevation Certificate, where we will research the flood facts and survey your home’s elevations relative to the flood zone.
Then, if the elevation survey proves that your house and adjacent land is in fact higher than the mapped flood zone, and is not raised by fill, we can prepare for you and submit an eLOMA Letter of Map Amendment to remove your house from the FEMA Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
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Foster Survey Company is a Rhode Island Professional Land Surveying Company established in March of 1993. We are Registered Licensed RI Professional Land Surveyors serving all Rhode Island. Because Trust and Experience Matter, our core beliefs are to give superior professional land surveying services that will benefit you with: Value, Experience, and Quality!