National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations require flood insurance for insurable structures located in SFHAs that carry a mortgage loan backed by a federally regulated lender or servicer. The SFHAs are the areas subject to inundation by the 1% annual chance flood, which is also referred to as the base, or 100-year, flood. If your mortgage company determines that they will require flood insurance as part of your policy, it is recommended that the following steps be taken:
- Request a copy of the mortgage company's findings related to the floodplain on your property.
- Download a current copy of the FEMA map for your property or make a request to the City of Cedar Park's floodplain manager.
- If you believe your property is not located in the designated 100-year floodplain (also known as a 1% annual chance floodplain, or Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), as shown on the effective Flood Insurance Rate Map or Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map for your community and you would like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to make an official determination regarding the location of your property relative to the SFHA, you may request a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or a Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F).
- For a LOMA to be issued to remove a structure from the SFHA, NFIP regulations require that the lowest adjacent grade (the lowest ground touching the structure) be at or above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). To remove an entire lot from the SFHA, NFIP regulations require that the lowest point on the lot be at or above the BFE.
- A LOMR-F is submitted for properties on which fill has been placed to raise a structure or lot to or A LOMR-F is submitted for properties on which fill has been placed to raise a structure or lot to or above the BFE. NFIP regulations require that the lowest adjacent grade of the structure be at or above the BFE for a LOMR-F to be issued to remove the structure from the SFHA. The participating community must also determine that the land and any existing or proposed structures to be removed from the SFHA are "reasonably safe from flooding." To remove an entire lot and structure, both the lowest point on the lot and the lowest adjacent grade of the structure must be at or above the BFE.
- The issuance of a LOMA or LOMR-F by FEMA eliminates the Federal flood insurance purchase requirement as a condition of Federal or federally backed financing. However, lenders retain the prerogative to require flood insurance as a condition of any loan as part of their standard business practices, regardless of the location of the structure.
- Certain sections of the LOMA and LOMR-F application forms must be certified by a Registered Professional Engineer or Licensed Land Surveyor. Therefore, requesters may incur certain fees associated with obtaining data and hiring a Registered Professional Engineer or Licensed Land Surveyor to provide and certify certain information that must be submitted with LOMA and LOMR-F requests.
- Most applications require an Elevation Certificate. If your house was built on natural ground and its lowest adjacent grade is at or above the BFE, and you will need to request a LOMA.
- If your house was built on fill (or has been elevated by the placement of earthen fill), and you would like to request a LOMR-F. Fill is defined as material from any source placed to raise the ground to or above the BFE. The common construction practice of removing unsuitable existing material (topsoil) and backfilling with select structural material is not considered the placement of fill if the practice does not alter the existing (natural grade or ground) elevation, which is at or above the BFE. Fill that is placed before the date of the first NFIP map showing the area in an SFHA is considered natural grade.