My bank said I'm in the floodplain and have to buy insurance. I don't believe it. What can I do?
If a lending institution is federally regulated or making federally backed loans, it must review the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) maps to determine if the building is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA.) The SFHA is the area that is expected to be inundated by a 1% annual chance flood. If the bank makes such a determination, it must require the borrower to purchase flood insurance.

If you disagree with the lending institution's determination, you may request that FEMA review the lender's determination. FEMA will then review the information that the lending institution used and issue a letter that states whether they agree with the determination. Your request must be postmarked no later than 45 days after the lending institution notifies you of the flood insurance requirement, and the submittal must be complete. The request must include all of the information and fees listed in the Letter of Determination Review (LODR) information sheet. If your request is postmarked after the 45-day limit has expired, or if FEMA does not receive all of the information within the 45-day limit, they will not review the determination and the flood insurance requirement stands.

FEMA's responses to these requests are called LODRs, and offer two basic dispositions: (1) the lender's determination stands or (2) it is overturned. FEMA's determination is based on the technical data submitted. If the lender's evidence is inconclusive or the request is incomplete FEMA can disagree with the lender's determination. FEMA's response does not amend or revise the NFIP map for your community. It only states that FEMA agrees or disagrees with your lender's determination.

Occasionally, a lending institution may require insurance if it determines that a part of your lot is in the SFHA. The NFIP does not insure land. However, even if you submit evidence that your building is out of the floodplain, the bank may still decide to require insurance on your building.

You can contact your insurance agent or call your community's building permit office. Not only can they tell you if they participate in the NFIP, but they can tell you if you have to get permits before building in a special flood hazard area, or before you add to, improve, or repair damage to an existing floodplain building.

Show All Answers

1. What does it mean if my community does not participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)?
2. What are FEMA's requirements to remove land or a building from the 1% annual chance flood hazard area?
3. What is the 100-year flood?
4. I have lived here forever and have never been flooded. Why do I need flood insurance?
5. What elevation is used when rating a structure for a flood insurance policy?
6. My family has lived in our house for many years, and we had a big flood that was called the 100-year flood. We weren't damaged. Why do I need flood insurance?
7. My bank said I'm in the floodplain and have to buy insurance. I don't believe it. What can I do?
8. Who can prepare an Elevation Certificate?
9. What do I need to know if my building is in the floodplain?
10. If I own a repetitive loss property, are there grant funds available to mitigate against future flood losses?