Map Changes

Undergoing a Map Change

Flood risks can, and do, change over time. Flood risks change for many reasons: new development, changes in levee classification, and environmental changes, to name a few. As a result FEMA is updating flood hazard maps across the country. These new flood maps, also, known as Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs), show flood risk at a property-by-property level.

When new maps are issued, your risk may have changed as well—along with your flood insurance requirements. If your property is mapped out of a high-risk area, your flood insurance costs will likely decrease. If you’ve been mapped into a high-risk area, you will be required to purchase flood insurance if your mortgage is through a federally regulated or insured lender. But you can save money through a process known as “grandfathering.”

If you live near a levee, your flood risk may be higher than you thought. Hundreds of levees across the country no longer meet federal standards for protection, so when new maps are issued, these areas will be shown as high risk.

How map changes affect flood insurance

When new flood maps are issued, your flood risk may become higher or lower-which can affect what you pay for flood insurance. However, there is usually a six — to twelve-month period between the time the new “preliminary” maps are issued and the time that they are implemented. This gives you adequate time to protect your property and, possibly, save on flood insurance.