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A number of factors determine premiums for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance coverage. Major factors include the amount of coverage purchased; the deductible and the location, age, occupancy, and type of building. For newer buildings in floodplains, the elevation of the lowest flood relative to the elevation of the 1% annual-chance flood can also be used to rate the policy.
If you have federal or federally related financing for the property in question and you do not already have flood insurance, your lender may contact you once the new map takes effect and require that you purchase the insurance. If you do not purchase flood insurance within 45 days after being informed that flood insurance is required, the lender can force place the insurance and charge you for the cost of it.
If you dispute the lender's determination that your property is located in a floodplain, you and your lender can jointly request a Letter of Determination Review from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within 45 days of being informed by your lender that your property is located in a floodplain.
If you have insurance before the new maps took effect, the basis for rating that policy remains unchanged (i.e., you can use the rate that was charged to you when your property was located outside the floodplain).
If you have federal or federally related financing for the property in question, you no longer have a federal requirement to purchase flood insurance; however, lenders retain the prerogative to require flood insurance, even for property that is not in a floodplain. If you wish to continue coverage, you may be eligible for preferred risk rates based on your property being outside the floodplain.
You should have your policy re-rated using the new map, which should lower your premium. Even if you are not required to purchase flood insurance, FEMA encourages homeowners to continue coverage at the preferred risk rates, because you may be flooded by an even greater than the 1 % annual-chance event.
If you can show that your house was built in compliance with local floodplain management regulations and map in effect at the time of construction, the basis of rating your policy does not change and your premium will be the same. If you cannot show that your house was built in the compliance at the time of construction, your policy will be re-rated using the new map, which may raise your premium. However if you can show that your home has been continuously insured since before the map change, your premium will not be affected.
If you do not have federal or federally related financing, you are not required by federal regulations to have flood insurance, although it is available to you.
You should contact your insurance agent to ensure that the policy is re-rated when the new map officially takes effect. The lower flood elevation may result in a lower premium.
Any house that can be shown to have been built in compliance with local floodplain management regulations and the map that was effective at the time of construction will continue to be considered complaint, even if the new map shows an increase in flood elevation or a chance to a more restrictive zone designation. However, should your house be substantially damaged (damage is 50% or more of the pre-damage market value) and you wish to repair it, you will be required to bring the entire structure to compliance with the zone designation and flood elevations shown on the map that is in effect at the time the repairs take place.
If the house is less than substantially damaged, you do not need to refer to the map when repairing damages. Please note, however, that there may be more stringent state or local requirements that take precedence over those stated here. Regardless of whether your house is substantially damaged, you will likely need a building permit to make repairs and therefore, will need to contact your local building official.
If the value of the addition or improvement to the residential structure is less than 50% of the market value of the existing structure, you need only make sure that the improvement meets or exceeds the standards that were used in constructing the existing structure (assuming the existing structure was built in compliance at the time it was constructed). Additions or other improvements valued at 50% or more of the market value of the existing structure are considered substantial improvements. In such cases, the entire structure must be brought into compliance with the elevations on the map in effect at the time the improvement begins.
Under certain circumstances, only the addition needs to be elevated to the flood elevations shown on that map. Please note, however, that there may be more stringent state or local requirements that take precedence over those stated here. Regardless of whether your building is substantially improved, you will likely need a building permit to make the improvement and need to contact your local building official.
Create a FIRMette of my property.
The City of Oregon City uses the combination of the 1996 floodplain inundation line and FEMA's 100-year floodplain as the basis for determining flood hazard. This document is meant a resource for determining if your property will change floodplain designation with the new FEMA maps effective June 17, 2008.