Your lending institution will use the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) adopted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to determine whether your property is within a 100-year floodplain. If the lender makes such a determination, you are required to purchase flood insurance. The lender's floodplain determination simply locates your property in or out of the floodplain; the lender does not evaluate the property's elevation above the flood level.
Flood Hazard Determination Review
If you disagree with the lender's determination that your property is within a floodplain, you may request a Flood Hazard Determination Review by FEMA, in which case FEMA will review the information the lender used and issue a letter that states whether or not they agree with the lender's determination. Your request to FEMA must be postmarked no later than 45 days after the lender notifies you of the flood insurance requirement and the request must include all of the information and fees required by FEMA.
Letter of Map Amendment
You can also apply to FEMA for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA), which includes submitting an elevation certificate.
If your lot or building site is on natural ground that is higher than the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map, you may request a Letter of Map Amendment. If approved, the LOMA verifies that your building (or portions of your property) has been removed from a designated floodplain. Your lender may then choose to not require flood insurance.
To get assistance with any of these issues, please call the Floodplain Management and Services Division of the Flood Control District at 602-506-2419 and ask to speak with a floodplain representative.