What changes will we see on the new Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)?

Some buildings, for the first time, may be included in the high-risk area, known as the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). 

  • If, based on the new maps, the building is in the SFHA (flood zones beginning with “A”, “AE”, “V,” or “VE”) and is mortgaged through a federally regulated and insured lender, the property owner will be required to carry flood insurance after the new maps go into effect. 
  • Some buildings will be shown in the new maps as being in a different high-risk zone (e.g., from Zone AE to Zone VE) or may have their Base Flood Elevation (BFE) increase or decrease. 
  • Premiums are generally higher in areas that are at greater risk of flooding than in those at moderate or minimal risk of flooding. Therefore, changes in the BFE will affect flood insurance rates.

However, some buildings may be removed from the mapped SFHA.

  • If the building is currently mapped in an SFHA, but on the new FIRM it is mapped into a moderate-to-low-risk flood area, flood insurance is no longer federally required. 
  • However, the mortgage holder/lender may still require flood insurance. 
  • Homeowners and renters, at their discretion, may maintain flood insurance at the lower rates offered for buildings outside the SFHA. 

Show All Answers

1. What are the standards for constructing in a floodplain?
2. What are the requirements for existing structures within the floodplain?
3. What can be done if a floodplain map may have an error or be to be modified?
4. What changes will we see on the new Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)?
5. Will I have to buy flood insurance?