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How does the NFIP benefit property owners? Taxpayers? Communities?

By being a member of NFIP, property owners are provided an opportunity to purchase flood insurance to insure against flood losses. With the City’s floodplain ordinance, monitoring of development and construction practices help reduce flood losses and high government costs associated with flood disasters.

Is the purchase of flood insurance mandatory?

The Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 and the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 requires the purchase of flood insurance as a condition of Federal or Federally related financial assistance for buildings within Special Flood Hazard Areas. For buildings located outside of the Special Flood Hazard Areas, purchase of flood insurance is not mandatory unless it is an established requirement of an institution’s standard lending practices. However, purchase of flood insurance for buildings outside the Special Flood Hazard Areas is a prudent practice.

Why is there a requirement to purchase flood insurance in communities that have not suffered flooding in many years or ever?

FEMA determines flood risk through available information for a community. While historical flood data is an important element in identifying flood risk, other elements such as rainfall and river-flow data, topography, wind velocity, tidal surge, flood-control measures, development, etc. are also used to evaluate flood risk.

Why is my lender requiring the purchase of flood insurance?

Under the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 and the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994, lenders are obligated to review the current NFIP maps to determine a structure’s location relative to the published Special Flood Hazard Area. If the lender determines that the structure is within the Special Flood Hazard Area, the borrower is notified to obtain flood insurance as a condition of the loan.

What if I disagree with my lender’s determination that I am in the flood zone?

So long as the requirement to purchase flood insurance is not part of the institution’s lending requirement, property owners can contest the lender’s determination by requesting FEMA to review the lending institution’s determination. A Letter of Determination Review (LODR) will be issued by FEMA indicating FEMA’s finding. A fee for LODR is required and the LODR will not amend or revise the current NFIP maps.

How can a property owner determine if the property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area?

FEMA maps indicating flood hazard areas, letter of map changes, and elevation certificates are on file with the City. The current maps are effective as of August 3, 2009. Updates to the current maps will only be done electronically through FEMA’s National Flood Hazard Layer (NFHL) online. The NFHL is a computer database that contains flood hazard map information including data from Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map and Letters of Map Changes. Access to historical maps and the National Flood Hazard Layer can be obtained through www.msc.fema.gov.

Are discounts offered for flood insurance premiums?

The City of Fremont entered into a Community Rating System in 2001 with a rating of Class 7. The rating provides property owners within Special Flood Hazard Areas a 15% reduction in premiums for flood insurance.