Not all flood insurance requirements are cast in stone; know where you stand with a flood elevation survey

If you are considering purchasing or refinancing property, you may want to check to see if the property is located in a floodplain area. Mortgage lenders use Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps and flood insurance studies to determine whether or not flood insurance is required and, if it is, what the premiums would be. Learn the facts about your property now and save yourself from a surprise later — and perhaps save some time and money, as well. 

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created in response to the rising cost of taxpayer-funded disaster relief for flood victims and the increasing amount of damage caused by floods. FEMA manages the NFIP and oversees floodplain mapping.

Nearly 20,000 communities across the United States and its territories participate in the NFIP. By developing and enforcing floodplain management ordinances, governments can help protect residents and reduce future flood damage. In exchange, the NFIP makes federally-backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in these communities. Recent changes to the NFIP have caused insurance premiums to increase.

The requirements for properties that fall in, or near, a floodplain change when each county redefines its floodplain areas and changes occur to the NFIP. If you purchased property recently, added buildings to existing property, or are unsure if you are located in a floodplain, contact one of our land surveyors today.

Updated maps may be coming to your area soon, which could include more property within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) than previously shown. This may trigger a review of your property even though it had never been considered at risk in the past.

If we find that your property has been defined as being in a floodplain, we’ll go over your options with you. In certain cases, we may find that your property can be removed from the SFHA by going through the Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) process and submitting an Elevation Certificate for the property to FEMA.

For more information visit the Floodplain Management and Flooding page on the MN Department of Natural Resources website.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact one of our land surveyors in an office near you — Alexandria, Bemidji, Brainerd, Crookston, East Grand Forks, Forest Lake, Grand Forks, or Rochester.