FEMA’s Flood Hazard Mapping Program, in collaboration with individual states and communities, is designed to assess flood risk and identify flood hazards. An essential component of the National Flood Insurance Program, these flood maps (officially known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps or FIRMS) identify at-risk areas which are then designated as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Many homeowners do not realize that their property has not been individually studied by FEMA. Instead, SFHAs are based on a general study of a very large area and, for this reason, they are very broad in nature and open to error.
Recently, FEMA updated their flood maps in Massachusetts and other areas throughout the country. With these newly rewritten flood maps, many homeowners found that their properties had been added to the flood zone. For many, this equates to hundreds if not thousands of dollars more each year in flood insurance.
If you suspect that your property may have been inadvertently mapped in a Special Flood Hazard Area, you may submit a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Change (LOMC) to FEMA. These requests can also be made online through an e-LOMA submitted by a professional land surveyor or engineer or an Online-LOMC submitted by the homeowner. The online application has made the process a bit easier and more convenient while also allowing application status to be checked online.
Applications must include certain information, including elevation information certified by a Licensed Land Surveyor or Registered Professional Engineer. Many land surveyors will perform the elevation surveyor, complete and submit the elevation certificate, and monitor your application’s status for you. If the LOMA or LOMC is granted, this can equate to significantly lower insurance premiums or even allow you the option of not purchasing flood insurance. If you would like to request an elevation certificate in Boston or the surrounding area, call Massachusetts Survey Consultants today at (617) 899-0703.