My bank said I'm in the floodplain and I have to buy flood insurance. I don't believe it. What can I do?

If a lending institution is federally regulated or making federally backed loans, it must review the NFIP maps to determine if the building is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area. The SFHA is the area that is expected to be inundated by a 1% annual chance of flood. If the bank makes such a determination, it must require the borrower to purchase flood insurance. Please note, these determinations are purely in/out and do not involve the vertical elevation of the structure.

If you disagree with the lending institution's determination, you may request that FEMA review the lender's determination. FEMA will then review the information that the lending institution used, and issue a letter that states whether we agree with the determination. Your request must be postmarked no later than 45 days after the lending institution notifies you of the flood insurance requirement and the submittal must be complete. The request must include all of the information and fees listed in the Letter of Determination Review (LODR) information sheet. If your request is postmarked after the 45-day limit has expired, or if we do not receive all of the information within the 45-day limit, we will not be able to review the determination and the flood insurance requirement stands.

FEMA's responses to these requests are called LODRs, and offer two basic dispositions: (1) the lender's determination stands or (2) it is overturned. FEMA's determination is based on the technical data submitted. If the lender's evidence is inconclusive or the request is incomplete FEMA can disagree with the lender's determination. FEMA's response does not amend or revise the NFIP map for your community. It only states that FEMA agrees or disagrees with your lender's determination.

Occasionally a lending institution may require insurance if it determines that a part of your lot is in the SFHA. The NFIP does not insure land. However, even if you submit evidence that your building is out of the floodplain, the bank may still decide to require insurance on your building.

Show All Answers

1. What does 100-year flood mean?
2. My home is in a floodplain. Am I at high risk for flooding?
3. If I read a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), what are the different flood hazard zone designations and what do they mean?
4. What are FEMA's requirements for being removed from the 1% annual chance flood hazard area?
5. I have lived here forever and have never been flooded. Why do I need flood insurance?
6. My family has lived in our house for many years, and we had a big flood that was called the 100-year flood. We weren't damaged. So, why do I need flood insurance?
7. My bank said I'm in the floodplain and I have to buy flood insurance. I don't believe it. What can I do?
8. Who can do determinations of floodplain maps?
9. How can I find my community number and/or panel number?
10. Who can prepare an elevation certificate?
11. What elevation is used when rating a structure for a flood insurance policy?
12. What do I need to know if my building is in the floodplain?
13. I bought a house near the river. I had no idea that it floods there: what do I do?
14. How can I be considered to be in a floodplain if I only get water when it floods?
15. Five years ago my neighbor did something I want to do now, why can't I do it?
16. The mean local official says that my property has been substantially damaged, what does that mean?
17. What happens if I move back into my house, even though it has been declared substantially damaged?