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Q. What is a Base Flood Elevation (BFE)?
A. A Base Flood Elevation (BFE) is the elevation the floodwaters will reach during the 1 percent annual chance flood.
Q. What is the 1 % Annual Chance Flood?
A. The 1 percent annual chance flood (also known as the 100-Year Frequency Flood or Base Flood) is the flood that has a 1 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. Any flood zone that begins with the letter A is subject to the 1 percent annual chance flood.
Q. I have flood insurance and my house is in an A Zone according to the current flood map. The new flood map, however, will show my house as being in a low-risk flood zone (B, C, or X-zone). Will I have to continue to carry flood insurance when the new map takes effect?
A. If you have Federal or federally related financing for your home, you will no longer have a Federal requirement to purchase flood insurance when the new flood map takes effect. However, lenders still have the right to require flood insurance, even for buildings no longer in an A Zone. If you want to continue coverage after the new maps take effect, you may be eligible for much lower rates based on your home being outside the A Zone. You should have your policy re-rated using the new maps, which should lower your premium. Even if you are not required to purchase flood insurance, homeowners are encouraged to continue coverage at the lower rates in the event you are flooded by an event greater than the 1% annual chance flood.
Q. My house is not in an A Zone according to the current flood map, but the new map will show it as being an A Zone. Will I have to purchase flood insurance when the new map officially takes effect?
A. Yes, if you have Federal or federally related financing for your home and you do not already have flood insurance. Your lender will contact you once the new map takes effect and require you to purchase flood insurance. If you do not purchase the insurance within 45 days after being notified, the lender can purchase the insurance for you at a higher premium and charge you for the cost. If you dispute the determination that your home is located in an A Zone, you and your lender can jointly request a Letter of Determination Review from FEMA at a cost of $80. The review request must be submitted within 45 days of notification that your home is located in an A Zone. If you have insurance before the new maps take effect, the basis for rating that policy is unchanged.
Q. How does a preliminary map become effective?
A. After the open house, there is a 90-day appeal period to challenge the preliminary mapping. Updated maps become final six months after all disputes have been resolved.
Q. What if a person disagrees with the new flood zone for a piece of property?
A. There are two options:
A study that determines BFEs along a stream involves collection of historical and physical data, followed by analyses to determine flow rates and water-surface elevations. Various information is required to support an appeal, depending on the part of the study being challenged.
Q. How can I find out when new maps will become available for my community? How can I get more information?
A. Visit the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water's website at: http://www.floodmaps.in.gov/
Or contact us at:
Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Division of Water
402 W. Washington Street, Room W264
Indianapolis, IN 46204
877-928-3755 (Toll Free)