Having your home or property designated as a Federal Emergency Management (FEMA) Special Flood Hazard Area can be financially devastating, but a qualified flood mapping mitigation service can help.
FEMA defines a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) as an area with a special flood or erosion hazard, as shown on a FEMA flood hazard boundary map. FEMA’s Flood Hazard Mapping Program is a crucial part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and is the basis of the NFIP regulations and insurance requirements.
Properties that are mapped in an SFHA are subject to a number of requirements and restrictions, including the mandate to have costly FEMA-provided insurance. These properties may also see dramatic drops in property values, in part because the cost of insurance may equal or even exceed local real estate taxes. In addition, building options may be severely restricted by local ordinances that prohibit substantial improvements to SFHA mapped properties.
In 2013, FEMA Flood Hazard Mapping updates resulted in many properties being inadvertently mapped in Special Flood Hazard Areas, creating enormous financial hardships for the property owners. The only recourse for the property owner is to seek a change in designation by submitting a request to FEMA for a Letter of Map Change (LOMC). A successful LOMA request can alleviate the financial burden of SFHA designation by reducing or eliminating the need for flood insurance, increasing property values, removing the restrictions on property improvements, and potentially resulting in a refund of insurance overpayments made during the period when the property was incorrectly mapped.
Any property owner can request an LOMC, but the process can be both complex and time consuming. If you believe your property has been incorrectly mapped, the first step toward a successful LOMC request is to consult a reputable firm such as Flood Zone Mitigations that specializes in dealing with flood mapping mitigation and issues and arrange for a property designation review.
Working with an expert flood zone mitigation firm gives you a distinct advantage and can substantially increase the odds of a successful LOMC request. The firm will review various documents specific to your property, including your deed, property map, and Elevation Certificate, and determine the accuracy of its placement on the latest FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map. If the current designation is inaccurate, the firm will work with you through the entire LOMC request process to give you the best chance of success.