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FEMA and DEC Flood Map Update FAQs

For properties newly mapped into the 1% flood zone is there a phase in period for the cost of required flood insurance (for people who did not have coverage before they were mapped in and it was required)?

 A property may be eligible for the Newly Mapped discount if it was once designated outside of the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) on an effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and, following a map revision, is designated within a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The Newly Mapped discount phases out annually until reaching the policy’s full-risk premium. The insurer must verify the policy’s eligibility for the Newly Mapped discount, including by confirming any prior flood zone designation before the most current FIRM. 

 A property may be eligible for the Newly Mapped discount if it was either:
•    Previously designated in a Zone B, C, or X on the previous flood map and newly mapped into an SFHA.
•    Previously designated in a Zone D, A99, or AR and newly mapped into a different SFHA zone.
•    The policy in force start date is within 12 months of the effective FIRM revision date; or 
•    The policyholder applied for the policy within 45 days of initial lender notification, if the notification occurred within 24 months of the effective FIRM revision date. 

FEMA provides Newly Mapped statutory discounts on the first $35,000 of coverage for buildings and $10,000 of contents coverage for pre-Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) primary residences. The policy’s first term of eligibility for the statutory discount is 70%. For subsequent renewal terms, the statutory annual increase cap applies, which would be no more than 15% for most policies, excluding NFIP fees.  

Can a homeowner see the parameters that Risk 2.0 has assigned to their home to decide if a challenge or Elevation Certificate is merited? 

Policyholders would need to get quotes from an insurance agent to see how the rating characteristics assigned to their building impact their premium.  Rating characteristics used to rate a policy can be found in this link: Rate Explanation Guide (

An explanation of discounts can be found here: Discount Explanation Guide (

Since Elevation Certificates can now be completed by the property owner, it is in their best interest to submit an Elevation Certificate with the flood insurance application.  However, the most accurate Elevation Certificates are those completed by licensed surveyors or engineers. 

When will the new mapping products become effective?

Following the Open House, there will be a 90-day comment and appeal period during which data can be submitted by the jurisdiction. More information on comments and appeals can be found here: CCO DVD Document Template ( Once FEMA has completed a review of the comments and appeals and has finalized the maps, the Letter of Final Determination (LFD) will be issued. The maps become effective 6-months after the LFD is issued. 

Where can someone go to fill out a survey of home information and see how much NFIP coverage will cost for their home under Risk Rating 2.0 and the changing flood zones? 

The only way to get a flood insurance quote for your property is to go to a flood insurance agent. To find out more information on flood insurance including finding an agent in your area go to The National Flood Insurance Program | FloodSmart ( 

Does a home that is shown within the Special Flood Hazard Area (also known as the 100-year floodplain), but elevated so the lowest floor is above the BFE still need flood insurance? 

Simply having the lowest floor elevated above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) does not remove the property from the Special Flood Hazard Area or the mandatory purchase requirement for flood insurance if they have a mortgage. However, having an elevated home will reduce the risk and potentially make the cost of flood insurance lower.  

What if just a corner of my house is shown within the Special Flood Hazard Area on the new preliminary maps? Can I appeal the maps? 

You should contact a surveyor and have an elevation certificate completed for your house. An elevation certificate is an official FEMA form that documents the elevation of your house in relation to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). If the elevation certificate shows that the lowest adjacent grade (including deck support or stairs) is at or above the BFE then your house would be eligible for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA). You would need to wait until the maps became effective to submit your LOMA application. If approved, the LOMA would officially remove your house from the Special Flood Hazard Area and the mandatory purchase requirement for flood insurance would no longer apply. More information regarding the LOMA process can be found on FEMA’s website here: Change Your Flood Zone Designation |  

What if a portion of my property is shown within the Special Flood Hazard Area, but my house is outside? Will I be required to purchase flood insurance? What do I do if I receive a notice from my bank? 
The mandatory purchase requirement for flood insurance only applies if the structure is within the Special Flood Hazard Area. If your house is outside of the SFHA then you could apply for a Letter of Map Amendment-Out as Shown (LOMA-OAS) application to FEMA. Additional guidance on completing a LOMA-OAS application can be found here: NYSDEC LOMA-OAS Guidance Document

The issuance of a LOMA-OAS eliminates the federal flood insurance purchase requirement as a condition of obtaining federal or federally backed financing. However, the mortgage lender retains the right to require flood insurance as a condition of providing financing, regardless of the location of your house. It should be noted that the risk to the property has not been removed and receiving a LOMA does not mean that the property will never flood. Purchasing flood insurance is the best way to protect your investment. 

If you raise your home above BFE with a foundation that is filled to 2ft above BFE can you get a LOMA that the house is out of the flood zone or will it just make your required insurance a little cheaper? 

A Letter of Map Revision based on Fill (LOMR-F) application is available when a site is elevated with fill to or above the BFE. A LOMR-F must be applied for and approved by FEMA prior to issuance of a building permit. If a LOMR-F is approved a portion of the site would be removed from the floodplain and the mandatory purchase requirement would be removed from that portion of the property. Simply elevating an existing structure on a new foundation does not remove the property from the flood zone. However, having an elevated structure will reduce the risk and potentially make the cost of flood insurance lower.  

My property is located within a flood zone. Do I need a permit to do work there? Who issues the permits? 

The floodplain management program is administered by the local municipality. Any future development on the property is subject to the municipality’s flood damage prevention ordinance and will require a separate floodplain development permit in addition to any other necessary permits. Development is defined as any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate, including but not limited to buildings or other structures, mining, dredging, filling, grading, paving, excavation or drilling operations or storage of equipment or materials. Prior to initiating any work within a flood zone contact your local municipality. 

For floodplain permitting purposes, are there any rules of thumb or simplified analyses that could be done instead of a full engineering analysis if someone wants to add fill to the mapped Regulatory Floodway? Is a balanced cut and fill analysis enough to prove the project will not increase the base flood elevation?  
Floodplain management is administered by the local municipality. Prior to initiating any work within a flood zone contact your local municipality. Your local administrator should be able to offer guidance on the scope of projects that may not require a hydraulic and hydrologic engineering analysis. 

Small projects that do not increase the natural grade, such as the paving of a driveway or parking area at the existing grade can be permitted. There are other minor projects that are unlikely to increase the base flood elevation. For example, small, isolated obstructions such as a mailbox, a pitcher’s mound, or a single telephone pole could be permitted without requiring a no-rise certification. A balanced cut and fill is typically not enough information to prove the development will not cause an increase in the base flood elevation. FEMA regulations require a hydraulic analysis, performed by a licensed professional engineer, to demonstrate the proposed project shows no increase in flood stage during the base flood.

Approved by the NYSDEC and FEMA July 12, 2023