The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is currently updating its flood risk maps in Hennepin County. The maps are used to determine insurance rates, who is required to buy insurance, and to guide local governments with floodplain and development policies. The City of Minnetrista has been a member of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) since 1985. By participating in the NFIP, residents of Minnetrista have the option to purchase flood insurance to protect their property from flood damages. FEMA is in the final stages of updating the Flood Insurance Study for Hennepin County, effective November 4, 2016. As part of this study, FEMA revised floodplain boundaries throughout the county. These revisions will affect approximately 1,500 properties within Minnetrista. Floodplain maps, also known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps, provide the basis for floodplain management, regulation and insurance requirements by identifying flood-prone areas. The new maps will be available electronically on FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center at https://msc.fema.gov/portal and allow users to see the flood risk specific to their property.
How will this change affect you?
If you have a mortgage from a Federally-regulated or insured lender and there are buildings on your property within the 100-year floodplain, then by Federal law your lender must require you to carry flood insurance . This requirement will take effect when the new flood maps become effective on November 4, 2016 and you will likely be contacted by your lender to purchase flood insurance within 45 days. Flood insurance is available through FEMA’s NFIP at www.floodsmart.gov . Contact your insurance agent to learn about lower cost options offered by the NFIP for newly-mapped properties.
If you do not have a mortgage, you are not required to purchase flood insurance; however the floodplain designation could be a potential issue for any future sale of your property.
If you have a mortgage from a Federally-regulated or insured lender and the new flood maps show your property outside the floodplain, you will no longer be required by Federal law to maintain flood insurance when the flood maps become effective on November 4, 2016 . Please be advised that your lender still retains the right to require flood insurance as a condition of your loan. Fortunately, now being mapped in an area at lower risk, the rate you pay for flood insurance may be lower.
Remember homeowners insurance does not cover damage from floods. Purchasing a flood insurance policy may be wise, even if your property is located outside the 100-year floodplain. More than 20% of all NFIP flood insurance claims are filed from property owners living in moderate to low risk areas. Contact your insurance agent to see if you are eligible for the lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy (PRP). Existing policyholders can easily convert their policy to a PRP and receive a refund for the difference in premium.
What are your options?
Please review your property’s flood risk and consider purchasing flood insurance, even if not required. If you disagree with the maps and believe your property was inadvertently included in the floodplain, you can submit a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision based on Fill (LOMR-F) to change the designation of your property and avoid the federal flood insurance requirements.
If you are considering the sale of your property, the floodplain designation can impact potential offers and closing timelines, please consider taking early action. The buyer’s lender may require a LOMA to waive flood insurance requirements and this can delay the closing of a property sale. Obtaining a LOMA before putting your home on the market can ease potential buyers’ and lenders’ concerns regarding flooding.
Resources for Affected Property Owners:
FEMA Flood Map Service Center or 1(877) 336-2627
National Flood Insurance Program or (888) 225-5356 or (800) 427-4661
Letters to affected property owners:
City Council Meeting September 19, 2016: