St. Clair County Property
(outside the 100 yer flood zone)
FEMA Map Update is Complete.
ATTENTION! Act of Congress in June of 2012 will impact residents as soon as January 2013. Details can be found reguarding the removal of FEMA's grandfather clause at this link: CLICK HERE.
The maps for all local communities within St. Clair County (Michigan) have been revised as of May 3, 2010. The "Official site of the NFIP" and all associated links are changing to reflect these new maps. While the St. Clair County Parcel Viewer (click here) and previous maps (click here) contain generalized flood information; residents are encouraged to create a free map "FIRMette (click here)" of their specific interest area: (click here for a tutorial). The new flood boundaries were created using source maps from the United States Geological Survey and are often adjusted away from buildable areas based on site survey maps and engineering reports. Residents are encouraged to periodically check the status of these property owner initiated map amendments using the FEMA Map Service Center or the interactive map viewer hosted by FEMA. For questions regarding the use of these tools; please call FEMA, toll free: 1 (888) 379-9531.
This information is important to residents and businesses with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders! Did you know all such properties in high-risk flood areas are required by a lender to have flood insurance? Also, FEMA has produced a "Top Ten Facts" for lending agencies which includes a statement that lenders may require flood insurance on all loans, even those outside mapped flood areas. And, while flood insurance is not federally required if you live in a moderate-to-low risk flood area, coverage may be available and is strongly recommended by FEMA.
Does Your Community Participate?
The ability to purchase Federal flood insurance is based on community participation. In Michigan, community requirements to enable participation have been incorporated within the State Building Codes and by the Michigan DNRE Floodway/Floodplain Management. If your community is not on the participating list; consider contacting your local city, township or village officials for details. Check your community status on the Michigan listing of participating counties (Click Here) maintained by FEMA. If your community does not appear on the list:
I received a letter from my lender, what can I do?
A lender may determine your property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) but you disagree. Property owners in this situation have a couple of options. Depending on the specific circumstances, you may apply for a Letter of Determination Review (LODR), a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA), or a Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F). As stated above, a lender may choose to require insurance on any loan. However, buildings excluded from the SFHA will realize reduced premiums.
Application forms for LOMAs and LOMR-Fs can be found on the FEMA Forms Webpage; including comprehensive, step-by-step instructions. While completing the forms may seem burdensome, the advantages are thought to outweigh any inconvenience. The following first describes the LOMA or LOMR-F process, followed by the LODR process.
Upon receiving a completed MT-EZ form (for LOMAs) or MT-1 form (for LOMR-Fs), FEMA reviews property-specific information, which is more detailed than the national datasets, and makes a final flood zone determination for the property; normally issued within 30 - 60 days. If the LOMA or LOMR-F removes the SFHA designation from the property, this action can be presented to the lender as proof against a Federal flood insurance requirement for the property. However, even though a LOMA or LOMR-F may waive the Federal requirement for flood insurance, a lender retains the prerogative to require flood insurance. No fee is currently charged for the review of a LOMA; however, there is a review fee for other forms. Check the current fee schedule on the Flood Hazard Mapping Website.
Within 45 days of the date your lender notified you that your property is in the SFH; you and your lender may jointly request FEMA review the lender's determination. FEMA's response to such requests is a LODR. FEMA examines the same information your lender used to determine that your parcel was located in a SFHA. Unlike with a LOMA or LOMR-F, the elevation of the structure and property relative to the elevation of the 1-percent-annual-chance flood is not considered. Just like your lender, FEMA only considers the location relative to the SFHA boundary as shown on the FIRM. FEMA reviews this information and issues its finding of whether the structure is located in the SFHA. While this determination cannot consider the elevation of your structure or property, it can be useful if you feel the lender's interpretation of the FIRM is incorrect, or to verify insurance premium levels.
Who can complete the required forms?While a homeowner can review the forms and complete them for their own experience, only forms which are signed by a licensed surveyor will be accepted. Due to the techniques used and cost differences, residents may benefit by contacting several agencies listed in the phone book, yellow pages on-line, surveyor listing online or checking FEMA's national listing of companies.
How much does insurance cost?
A flood insurance policy for a $125,000 home and contents, outside the flood hazard area, is currently established at $284 per year. The established premium increases to $1,330 per year for homes within the special hazard area: Click Here for all the rate classification tables. Only a select group of agents are able to deal directly in flood insurance; the address look-up tool on FEMA's official page will provide contact information for the agent closest to your residence. Also, community actions will impact your ability to obtain a policy or reduce the base rates. Communities who exceed the basic recommendations may qualify residents for cooperative discounts up to 45%
The minimum required coverage is the lesser of the following:
What if the flood zone moved to include my house?
ATTENTION, ATTENTION, ATTENTION: GRANDFATHER PROVISION SET TO EXPIRE!!
rates are scheduled to increase 25% starting in 2013, rates will increase 25% each year until a policy is at full rates based on the hazard zone. Click on above link for details
(text below is being kept for historical reference)
An option is available to purchase the insurance before the maps become effective: grandfather provision. For St. Clair County residents, the maps have already become effective which excludes any ability to lock rates to the prior amounts. However, FEMA has created a new program to allow an introductory rate (currently valid for two years) at the lower grandfather rate. All insurance purchased though FEMA is refundable for 1 year which may allow our residents to obtain a refund or credit. This program may be extended in the future; as always, contact your local authorized FEMA agent to discuss any options.
For additional reference information on current programs:
Elevation Certificate instructions
(This certificate may help you negotiate a need for insurance with your lender)
(This certificate may be required in your community if building near a flood zone)
Each local city, village or township must take action to participate:
A letter of final determination has been sent to our local community offices. A Community Resource Page has been authored which may help with understanding section 60.3.
This page last updated on 5/24/2013.
St. Clair County Metropolitan Planning Commission
200 Grand River, Suite 202 | Port Huron, MI | 48060 | 810.989.6950