National Flood Insurance Program

National Flood Insurance ProgramFlooding is not covered by normal homeowners insurance. You can protect your home and its contents from flood loss through the National Flood Insurance Program.

General Flood Insurance Information
Flood insurance is available for most enclosed buildings, including contents. This includes homes, condominiums, and mobile homes on foundations, businesses, and farms. The contents of a rental unit are also insurable. There is a 30-day waiting period from the policy purchase until coverage begins, with the following exceptions:
  • There is a 1-day period after a policy coverage increase.
  • Coverage becomes effective immediately at the time of a house title transfer.
Flood insurance is necessary to obtain federally-secured funds to buy, build, or renovate a structure located in a Special Flood Hazard Area. This includes federal grants, FHA and VA loans, as well as most conventional mortgage loans. Check to see if your property is within a designated Flood Hazard Area. Do this even if you do not (or did not) require a conventional mortgage loan to purchase your house or business. To protect yourself financially, purchase flood insurance if your property is in a designated flood hazard area. If your home receives flood water damage, whether or not you purchased a flood insurance policy is important - the type and amount of federal disaster assistance available to you changes if you do not have flood insurance. Contact any licensed property or casualty broker for more information.

About the National Flood Insurance Program
The City of Oldsmar participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which makes federally-backed flood insurance available for all eligible buildings, whether or not they are in a floodplain. Flood insurance covers direct losses caused by surface flooding and local drainage problems. The NFIP insures buildings, including mobile homes, with 2 types of coverage: building and contents. Building coverage is for walls, floors, insulation, furnace, and other items permanently attached to the structure. Contents coverage may be purchased separately, if the contents are in an insurable building.

Mandatory Purchase Requirements
The Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 and the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 made the purchase of flood insurance mandatory for federally-backed mortgages on buildings located within Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs). It also affects all forms of federal or federally-related financial assistance for buildings located in SFHAs. The SFHA is the base 100-year floodplain mapped on the federal Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). It is shown as 1 or more zones that begin with the letter A or V.

The law applies to secured mortgage loans from such financial institutions as commercial lenders, savings and loan associations, savings banks, and credit unions that are regulated, supervised, or insured by federal agencies. It also applies to all mortgage loans purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in the secondary mortgage market.

How It Works
Lenders are required to complete a Standard Flood Hazard Determination (SFHD) form whenever they make, increase, extend, or renew a mortgage, home equity, home improvement, commercial, or farm credit loan to determine if the building or mobile home is in a SFHA. Copies of the FIRM are available for review at the city's Planning and Redevelopment Department and can be accessed on the city's website as well. Lenders may have their own copies of the FIRM, or they may utilize a flood zone determination company to provide the SFHD form.

If a building is in a Special Flood Hazard Area, the federal agency or lender is required by law to require the loan recipient to purchase a flood insurance policy on the building. Federal regulations require building coverage equal to the amount of the loan (excluding the appraised value of the land) or the maximum amount of insurance available from the NFIP, whichever is less. The maximum amount available for a single-family residence is $250,000. Government sponsored enterprises, such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, have stricter requirements.

The mandatory purchase requirement does not affect loans or financial assistance for items that are not covered by a flood insurance policy, such as vehicles, business expenses, landscaping, and vacant lots. It does not affect loans for buildings that are not within a SFHA, even though a portion of the lot may be. While not mandated by law, a lender may require a flood insurance policy for property in any zone on the Flood Insurance Rate Map.

If anyone feels that a SFHD form incorrectly places the property in the SFHA, they may request a Letter of Determination Review from FEMA within 45 days of the notice.

If you want to know if your property is in the SFHA, you may view the city’s Flood Insurance Rate Map on the website or you may contact the Building Division with your questions pertaining to building in the SFHA at 813-749-1124. For copies of FEMA elevation certificates for buildings constructed in the floodplain since 1995 and for information on Flood Zones and Letters of Map adjustment, please contact the Planning and Redevelopment Department at 813-749-1147. Please note that the city does not have Flood Elevation Certificates and Letters of Map Adjustments for every property.

Additional Information
For more information on the NFIP, visit the FEMA website.