The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) terminology index is a list of flood zone designations and floodplain management terms, plus regulations, policies, technical bulletins and guidance.
National Flood Insurance Program Terminology Index
An accessory structure is a structure which is on the same parcel of property as a principal structure and the use of which is incidental to the use of the principal structure. For example a residential structure may have a detached garage or storage shed for garden tools as accessory structures. Other examples of accessory structures include gazebos, picnic pavilions, boathouses, small pole barns, storage sheds, and similar buildings. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations for new construction generally apply to new and substantially improved accessory structures.
The National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 and any amendments to it.
The cost to replace an insured item of property at the time of loss, less the value of physical depreciation.
An addition is an improvement that increases the square footage of a structures. These include lateral additions added to the side or rear of a structure, vertical additions added on top of a structure and enclosures added underneath a structure. NFIP regulations for new construction apply to an addition that is considered to be a substantial improvement to a structure. Some states and communities require that all additions, regardless of their size, meet those requirements.
National Flood Insurance Program Requirements
A structure used solely for agricultural purposes in which the use is exclusively in connection with the production, harvesting, storage, drying, or raising of agricultural commodities, including the raising of livestock. Communities must require that new construction or substantial improvements of agricultural structures be elevated or floodproofed to or above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) as any other nonresidential building.
Flooding occurring on the surface of an alluvial fan or similar landform which originates at the apex and is characterized by high-velocity flows; active processes of erosion, sediment transport, and deposition; and unpredictable flowpaths. Alluvial fan flooding is depicted on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) as Zone AO, with a flood depth and velocity.
National Flood Insurance Program Requirements
- 59.1 - Definition
Alterations are often made to the channels of rivers, stream, or drainageways, usually to improve drainage, relocate the channel, or to increase its flood carrying capacity. There are two requirements for maintaining the flood carrying capacity of an altered watercourse. The altered or relocated watercourse must have the same or greater capacity as the original watercourse. Additionally, once the alteration is made, the capacity of the altered or relocated watercourse must be maintained over time.
A rating method used when a building is Pre-FIRM, the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) zone is unknown, and the community in which the building is located has no V Zones. May also be used for renewal of policies in communities that have converted from the Emergency Program to the Regular Program during a policy's term.
Adequately secured to prevent flotation, collapse or lateral movement.
If a proposed building site is in a flood-prone area, all new construction and substantial improvements shall be designed (or modified) and adequately anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure resulting from hydrodynamic and hydrostatic loads, including the effects of buoyancy. There are specific requirements for manufactured homes and structures in V Zones.
National Flood Insurance Program Requirements
An individual or the head of a household who has applied for Federal disaster assistance. 44 CFR 206.111
The statement made and signed by the prospective policyholder or the agent/producer in applying for an NFIP flood insurance policy. The Application gives information used to determine the eligibility of the risk, the kind of policy to be issued, and the correct premium payment. The Application is part of the flood insurance policy. For a policy to be issued, the correct premium payment must accompany the Application.
A detached garage servicing a 1-4 family dwelling.
Also see Accessory Structure.
The transfer by a policyholder of his/her legal right or interest in a policy contract to a third party. In the NFIP, written assignment of a policy is permissible upon transfer of title without the consent of the FEMA, except in the case where a residential (household) contents-only policy is involved or a policy was issued to cover a building in the course of construction.
When a community has Zone A areas without elevation and/or floodway data, the community shall obtain, review and reasonably utilize Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and floodway data available from a Federal, State, or other source, including data developed pursuant to paragraph 60.3 (b) (3), as criteria for requiring that new construction, substantial improvement, or other development in Zone A on the community's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Boundary and Floodway Map (FBFM) meet floodplain management standards.
The depth shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for Zone AO that indicates the depth of water above highest adjacent grade resulting from a flood that has a 1% chance of equaling or exceeding that level in any given year.
The elevation of surface water resulting from a flood that has a 1% chance of equaling or exceeding that level in any given year. The BFE is shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for zones AE, AH, A1–A30, AR, AR/A, AR/AE, AR/A1– A30, AR/AH, AR/AO, V1–V30 and VE.
Every two years, communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) must complete and submit a Biennial Report describing the community's progress in the previous two years in implementing floodplain management measures and on its needs for re-mapping and technical assistance.
FEMA sends the Biennial Report form to local community officials. Submission of this report is required as part of a community's participation in the NFIP.
National Flood Insurance Program Requirements
A temporary agreement between company, agent/producer and insured that the policy is in effect. The NFIP does not recognize binders. However, for informational purposes only, the NFIP recognizes Certificates of Insurance and similar forms for renewal policies.
A single amount of insurance applying to more than 1 building and/or contents. Blanket insurance is not permitted under the NFIP
A structure with 2 or more outside rigid walls and a fully secured roof, that is affixed to a permanent site; or
A walled and roofed building (see the General Rules section for the exception) that is principally above ground and affixed to a permanent site. It does not include building materials or supplies intended for use in construction, alteration, or repair unless such materials or supplies are within an enclosed building on the premises.
A building in which the named insured is a commercial enterprise primarily carried out to generate income and the coverage is for:
Either a business building or the contents within a business building, or both.
The termination of the insurance coverage provided by a policy before the expiration date.
Certain activities (e.g., floodproofing design, V-Zone construction design, survey of building elevations, hydrologic and hydraulic analyses, survey and topographic data) require certification by a licensed professional architect, engineer, surveyor, or the community floodplain administrator.
National Flood Insurance Program Requirements
Covered cisterns and the water in them are defined as an integral part of an insurable building, meaning under the building or above ground and physically attached to a side of the building with 1 of the walls of the building and cistern being common to each other.
A natural lake from which water leaves primarily through evaporation and whose surface area exceeds or has exceeded 1 square mile at any time in the recorded past. NFIP-insured buildings that are subject to continuous lake flooding from a closed basin lake are covered under the provisions of Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP).
A naturally occurring island, sandbar or other strip of land, including coastal mainland, that protects the coast from severe wave wash.
Enacted on November 16, 1990, the Act greatly expanded the identified land in the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS) established pursuant to the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) of 1982.
For the purposes of the NFIP, the CBRA of 1982 designated certain portions of the Gulf and East Coasts as undeveloped coastal barriers. These areas are shown on appropriate flood insurance map panels and have certain coverage restrictions.
a. Communities, coastal barriers and Otherwise Protected Areas (OPAs) identified by legislation defined above.
Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) along the coasts that have additional hazards due to wind and wave action. These areas are identified on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) as zones V, V1-V30 and VE.
A penalty imposed on the loss payment unless the amount of insurance carried on the damaged building is at least 80% of its replacement cost or the maximum amount of insurance available for that building under the NFIP, whichever is less. Coinsurance applies only to building coverage under the Residential Condominium Building Association Policy (RCBAP).
- A group of people living in the same locality and under the same government, or a political subdivision of a state or other authority that has zoning and building code jurisdiction over a particular area.
- A political entity that has the authority to adopt and enforce floodplain ordinances for the area under its jurisdiction.
- A network of individuals and families, businesses, governmental and nongovernmental organizations and other civic organizations that reside or operate within a shared geographical boundary and may be represented by a common political leadership
A major component of the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP's) Community Assistance Program (CAP). The CAV is a visit to a community by a FEMA staff member or staff of a State agency on behalf of FEMA that serves the dual purpose of providing technical assistance to the community and assuring that the community is adequately enforcing its floodplain management regulations. Generally, a CAV consists of a tour of the floodplain, an inspection of community permit files, and meetings with local appointed and elected officials.
The National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 prohibits the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from providing flood insurance in a community unless that community adopts and enforces floodplain management regulations that meet minimum National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) criteria. When administrative problems or potential violations are identified in a community, FEMA is committed to working with that community and providing technical assistance to help them bring their floodplain management programs into compliance with NFIP requirements.
A 6-digit designation identifying each NFIP community. The first 2 numbers are the state code. The next 4 are the FEMA-assigned community number. An alphabetical suffix is added to a community number to identify revisions in the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for that community.
A program developed by FEMA to provide incentives for those communities in the Regular Program that have gone beyond the minimum floodplain management requirements to develop extra measures to provide protection from flooding.
The NFIP floodway standard in 44CFR 60.3 (d) restricts new development from obstructing the flow of water and increasing flood heights. However, this provision does not address the need to maintain flood storage. Especially in flat areas, the floodplain provides a valuable function by storing floodwaters. When fill or buildings are placed in the flood fringe, the flood storage areas are lost and flood heights will go up because there is less room for the floodwaters. This is particularly important in smaller watersheds which respond sooner to changes in the topography.
FEMA's comment on a proposed project that would, upon construction, affect the hydrologic or hydraulic characteristics of a flooding source and thus result in the modification of the existing regulatory floodway, the effective Base Flood Elevations (BFEs), or the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The letter does not revise an effective NFIP map, it indicates whether the project, if built as proposed, would be recognized by FEMA. FEMA charges a fee for processing a CLOMR to recover the costs associated with the review.
The entity made up of the unit owners responsible for the maintenance and operation of the following:
• Common elements owned in undivided shares by unit owners;
• Other real property in which the unit owners have use rights;
where membership in the entity is a required condition of unit ownership. Condominium Building. A type of building in the form of ownership in which each unit owner has an undivided interest in common elements of the building.
An employee of a Write Your Own (WYO) Company or an agent/producer under written contract with a WYO Company, empowered to act on the company’s behalf and with authority to advise an applicant for flood insurance that the company will accept the risk.
A Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that shows flooding information for the entire geographic area of a county, including the incorporated communities within the county.
a. Crawlspace foundations are commonly used in some parts of the nation to elevate the lowest floors of residential buildings located in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Crawlspaces should be constructed so that the floor of the crawlspace is at or above the lowest grade adjacent to the building. Crawspaces that have their floors below BFE must have openings to allow the equalization of flood forces.
For some activities and facilities, even a slight chance of flooding is too great a threat. Typical critical facilities include hospitals, fire stations, police stations, storage of critical records, and similar facilities. These facilities should be given special consideration when formulating regulatory alternatives and floodplain management plans. A critical facility should not be located in a floodplain if at all possible.
Any building that has incurred flood-related damage as a result of two or more flooding events in which the cumulative amounts of payments equals or exceeds the fair market value of such building, as determined through use of the following procedure. To determine whether a building has been cumulatively damaged, a loss percentage will be calculated, for each loss, equal to the claim payment amount for that loss divided by the fair market value of such building on the day before each loss.
Either a cumulative damage building or the contents within a cumulative damage building, or both.
The date that the building permit was issued, provided the actual start of construction, repair, reconstruction or improvement was within 180 days of the permit date.
A computer-generated summary of information provided by the prospective policyholder in the application for flood insurance. The declarations page also describes the term of the policy and the limits of coverage and displays the premium and the insurer's name. The declarations page is a part of the flood insurance policy.
The fixed amount of an insured loss that is the responsibility of the insured and that is incurred before any amounts are paid for the insured loss under the insurance policy.
The location where the insured building or personal property is found. The described location is shown on the Declarations Page.
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. A community without a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM) must require a permit for all proposed construction or other development in the community, so that it can determine whether the construction or other development is proposed within a flood-prone area.
Any of the numbers used in the instructions to the NFIP Elevation Certificate to identify the diagrams of the main types of buildings.
Loss or damage to insured property, directly caused by a flood. There must be evidence of physical changes to the property.
A manufactured (mobile) home that, when assembled as a nonmovable, permanent building, is at least 16 feet wide and has an area within its perimeter walls of at least 600 square feet.
A building designed for use as a residence for no more than 4 families or a single-family unit in building under a condominium form of ownership.
See Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP)--Dwelling Form.
A building that has no basement and that has its lowest elevated floor raised above ground level by foundation walls, shear walls, posts, piers, pilings, or columns. Solid (perimeter) foundations walls are not an acceptable means of elevating buildings in V and VE zones.
A community's permit file must have an official record that shows new buildings and substantial improvements in all identified Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs)are properly elevated. This elevation information is needed to show compliance with the floodplain management ordinance. FEMA encourages communities to use the Elevation Certificate developed by FEMA to fulfill this requirement since it also can be used by the property owner to obtain flood insurance.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations require that elevators and their associated equipment be protected from flood damage. The best way to do this is to locate mechanical equipment associated with the elevator above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). NFIP flood insurance coverage is limited for elevator equipment. New or replacement equipment relevant to an elevator, installed on or after October 1, 1987, and located below the lowest floor of an elevated building or in a basement is not covered by flood insurance.
The initial phase of a community's participation in the National Flood Insurance Program, as prescribed by Section 1306 of the Act.
Encroachments are activities or construction within the floodway including fill, new construction, substantial improvements, and other development. These activities are prohibited within the adopted regulatory floodway unless it has been demonstrated through hydrologic and hydraulic analyses that the proposed encroachment would not result in any increase in flood levels.
a. The collapse, undermining or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water. Erosion is a covered peril if it is caused by waves or currents of water exceeding their cyclical levels which result in flooding.
Issued in May 1977, this Executive Order directs Federal Agencies to:
For the purposes of determining flood insurance rates, structures for which the "start of construction" commenced before the effective date of the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or before January 1, 1975, for FIRMs effective before that date. "Existing construction" may also be referred to as "existing structures."
National Flood Insurance Program Requirements
- 59.1 - Definition
The price that the seller is willing to accept and the buyer is to pay on the open market and in an arm's length transaction.
1) An agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security charged with responding to Presidentially-declared disasters. 2)
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The Federal agency under which the NFIP is administered. In March 2003, FEMA became part of the newly created U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
A flat charge that the policyholder must pay on each new or renewal policy to defray certain administrative expenses incurred in carrying out the NFIP.
Earthen fill is sometimes placed in an Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) to reduce flood risk to the filled area. The placement of fill is considered development and will require a permit under applicable Federal, state and local laws, ordinances, and regulations. Fill is prohibited within the floodway unless it has been demonstrated that it will not result in any increase in flood levels. Some communities limit the use of fill in the flood fringe to protect storage capacity or require compensatory storage. The use of fill is prohibited for structural support of buildings in V Zones.
The arrangement between an insurance company and FEMA to initiate the company's participation in the Write Your Own (WYO) Program. It establishes the duties of the company and the government.
An enclosed area having more than 20 linear feet of finished interior walls (paneling, etc.) or used for any purpose other than solely for parking of vehicles, building access or storage.
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area or of 2 or more properties (at least 1 of which is the policyholder's property) from:
Official map of a community issued by FEMA, where the boundaries of the flood, mudflow and related erosion areas having special hazards have been designated.
The mapping and regulatory standards of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are general standards and do not address every flood problem in the United States. Certain floodplains and flood-related hazards are less common, more destructive and harder to map than riverine, coastal, alluvial fan, and shallow flooding. Special hazards include coastal erosion, tsunamis, closed basin lakes, uncertain flow paths, dam breaks, ice jams, and mudflows.
A flood that is in progress on the earlier of either:
An NFIP claims processing office set up in a catastrophe area when a sufficient number of flood claims result from a single event.
Official map of a community on which FEMA has delineated the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), the Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) and the risk premium zones applicable to the community.
National Flood Insurance Program Requirements
- 59.1 - Definition
- 59.22 (6) - Local Map Repository
- 59.22 (9) (v) - Community Boundary Updates
- 64.3 - FIRM Use for Sale of Flood Insurance
- 65 - Revisions to FIRM
A compilation and presentation of flood risk data for specific watercourses, lakes, and coastal flood hazard areas within a community. When a flood study is completed for the NFIP, the information and maps are assembled into an FIS. The FIS report contains detailed flood elevation data in flood profiles and data tables.
A Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), Flood Boundary and Floodway Map (FBFM), and Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM) are all flood maps produced by FEMA. The FIRM is the most common type of map and most communities have this type of map. At a minimum, flood maps show flood risk zones and their boundaries, and may also show floodways and Base Flood Elevations (BFEs). The FBFM is a version of a flood map that shows only the floodway and flood boundaries.
The FRO provides a local presence in the affected area and supports the WYO companies, the NFIP Servicing Agent and various Federal, state and local officials in providing answers to claims coverage questions, forms for claims handling and survey and statistical input. One of the key requirements of personnel at the FRO is to coordinate and conduct reinspections of WYO and NFIP Direct losses. The FRO also tracks adjuster performance and provides such information to interested WYO Companies and the NFIP Servicing Agent.
Flood hazard areas identified on the Flood Insurance Rate Map are identified as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). SFHA are defined as the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The 1-percent annual chance flood is also referred to as the base flood or 100-year flood. SFHAs are labeled as Zone A, Zone AO, Zone AH, Zones A1-A30, Zone AE, Zone A99, Zone AR, Zone AR/AE, Zone AR/AO, Zone AR/A1-A30, Zone AR/A, Zone V, Zone VE, and Zones V1-V30.
The collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water as a result of undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels or suddenly caused by an unusually high water level in a natural body of water, accompanied by a severe storm, or by an unanticipated force of nature, such as a flash flood or an abnormal tidal surge, or by some similarly unusual and unforeseeable event which results in flooding.
National Flood Insurance Program Requirements
- 59.1 - Definition
Flood-resistant material includes any building product capable of withstanding direct and prolonged contact with floodwaters without sustaining significant damage. Prolonged contact is defined as at least 72 hours. Significant damage is any damage requiring more than low-cost cosmetic repair (such as painting). All structural and non-structural building materials at or below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) must be flood resistant.
National Flood Insurance Program Requirements
60.3 (a)(3) - Reasonably Safe from Flooding
Any land area susceptible to being inundated by floodwaters from any source.
a. The operation of an overall program of corrective and preventive measures for reducing flood damage, including but not limited to, emergency preparedness plans, flood-control works and floodplain management regulations.
b. Floodplain management is a decision-making process that aims to achieve the wise use of the nation's floodplains. "Wise use" means both reduced flood losses and protection of the natural resources and function of floodplains.
Once FEMA provides a community with the flood hazard information upon which floodplain management regulations are based, the community is required to adopt a floodplain management ordinance that meets or exceeds the minimum NFIP requirements. The overriding purpose of the floodplain management regulations is to ensure that participating communities take into account flood hazards, to the extent that they are known, in all official actions relating to land management and use. The specific requirements are in Section 60.3 of the NFIP regulations, and apply to communities as follows:
Any combination of structural and non-structural additions, changes, or adjustments to structures which reduce or eliminate flood damage to real estate or improved real property, water and sanitary facilities, structures and their contents.
Documentation of certification by a registered professional engineer or architect that the design and methods of construction of a nonresidential building are in accordance with accepted practices for meeting the floodproofing requirements in the community's floodplain management ordinance. This documentation is required for both floodplain management requirements and insurance rating purposes.
A "Regulatory Floodway" means the channel of a river or other watercourse and the adjacent land areas that must be reserved in order to discharge the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than a designated height. Communities must regulate development in these floodways to ensure that there are no increases in upstream flood elevations.
Without a proper foundation, an elevated building can suffer damage from a flood due to erosion, scour, or settling. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations provide performance standards for anchoring new buildings and foundation and fill placement standards for buildings, for manufactured homes, and in V Zones. However, the NFIP performance standards do not specify how a building's foundations are to be constructed in A Zones. The national model building codes address building foundations and the proper placement, compaction, and protection of fill.
Masonry walls, poured concrete walls or precast concrete walls, regardless of height, that extend above grade and support the weight of a building.
a. An additional amount of height above the Base Flood Elevation used as a factor of safety (e.g., 2 feet above the Base Flood) in determining the level at which a structure's lowest floor must be elevated or floodproofed to be in accordance with state or community floodplain management regulations.
A rate charged to a group of policies that results in aggregate premiums sufficient to pay anticipated losses and expenses for that group.
A use which cannot perform its intended purpose unless it is located or carried out in close proximity to water. This term includes only docking facilities, port facilities that are necessary for the loading and unloading of cargo or passengers, and shipbuilding and ship repair facilities, but does not include long-term storage or related manufacturing facilities.
Attached Garages A garage attached to a residential structure or in an enclosed area below an elevated building may have the garage floor slab below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Because such a garage is an enclosed area below the BFE, openings are required either in the exterior walls of the garage or in the garage doors themselves.
See Standard Flood Insurance Policy–General Property Form.
The lowest or highest finished ground level that is immediately adjacent to the walls of the building. Use natural (pre-construction), ground level, if available, for Zone AO and Zone A (without BFE).
Issued by the NFIP Direct Program in response to a Presidential disaster declaration. Disaster assistance applicants, in exchange for a modest premium, receive a minimum amount of building and/or contents coverage for a 3-year policy period. An applicant may cancel the group policy at any time and secure a regular Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) through the NFIP.
The statutory surcharge imposed by Section 1308 of the Act.
An area of special flood hazard extending from offshore to the inland limit of a primary frontal dune along an open coast and any other area subject to high velocity wave action from storms or seismic sources. The coastal high hazard area is identified as Zone V on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). Special floodplain management requirements apply in V Zones including the requirement that all buildings be elevated on piles or columns.
High-rise condominium buildings have 5 or more units and at least 3 floors excluding enclosure even if it is the lowest floor for rating purposes. An enclosure below an elevated building, even if it is the lowest floor for rating purposes, cannot be counted as a floor to avoid classifying the building as low rise. Under the NFIP, townhouses/rowhouses are not considered high-rise buildings, regardless of the number of floors.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has established minimum floodplain management requirements for communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Communities must also enforce any more restrictive state requirements. Any community may exceed the minimum standards by adopting more comprehensive floodplain management regulations. In some instances, community officials may have access to information or knowledge of conditions that require, particularly for human safety, higher standards than the minimum NFIP criteria.
The highest natural elevation of the ground surface prior to construction next to the proposed walls of a structure. In AO Zones, all new construction and substantial improvements of residential structures shall have the lowest floor including basement elevated above the highest adjacent grade at least as high as the depth number specified in feet on the community's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM); or at least two feet if no depth number is specified.
Any building that is:
Any structure that is:
Hydrodynamic forces are imposed on an object, such as a building, by water flowing against and around it. Among the forces are positive frontal pressure against the structure, drag effect along the sides, and negative pressure in the downstream side. Hydrodynamic forces are one of the main causes of flood damage.Typical areas where hydrodynamic forces are of particular concern are along rivers and streams with high velocity floodwaters and coastal and other areas subject to wave forces.
Standing water or slowly moving water can induce horizontal hydrostatic forces against a structure, especially when floodwater levels on different sides of a wall are not equal. Also flooding can cause vertical hydrostatic forces, or flotation. Hydrostatic forces are one of the main causes of flood damage.
Fixtures, alterations, installations or additions made or acquired solely at a tenant’s expense and comprising part of an insured building.
Coverage for expenses that a property owner must incur, above and beyond the cost to repair the physical damage the structure actually sustained from a flooding event, to comply with mitigation requirements of state or local floodplain management ordinances or laws. Acceptable mitigation measures are elevation, floodproofing, relocation, demolition or any combination thereof.
Indian tribes, authorized tribal organizations, Alaska Native villages or authorized native organizations, which have land use authority, are considered communities by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and can join the program even if no flood hazard map exists that covers all tribal lands.
FEMA's ruling on the determination made by a lender or third party that a borrower's building is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). A LODR deals only with the location of a building relative to the SFHA boundary shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). Please visit How To Request a Flood Hazard Determination Review from FEMA for additional information regarding the Letter of Determination of Review process.
Letter of Map Change (LOMC) is a general term used to refer to the several types of revisions and amendments to FEMA maps that can be accomplished by letter. They include Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA), Letter of Map Revision (LOMR), and Letter of Map Revision based on Fill (LOMR-F).
A Letter of Map Revision is FEMA's modification to an effective Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), or Flood Boundary and Floodway Map (FBFM), or both. Letter of Map Revisions are generally based on the implementation of physical measures that affect the hydrologic or hydraulic characteristics of a flooding source and thus result in the modification of the existing regulatory floodway, the effective Base Flood Elevations (BFEs), or the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).
A Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F) is FEMA's modification of the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) based on the placement of fill outside the existing regulatory floodway.
All requests for changes to effective maps, other than those initiated by FEMA, must be made in writing through the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the community or an official designated by the CEO.
A loss that is already in progress as of 12:01 a.m. on the first day of the policy term; or, as to any increase in the limits of coverage which is requested, a loss that is already in progress when the additional coverage is requested.
Low-rise condominium buildings having fewer than 5 units regardless of the number of floors or 5 or more units with fewer than 3 floors including basement. All townhouses/rowhouses, regardless of the number of floors or units and all single-family detached condominium buildings are classified as low rise. An enclosure below an elevated building, even if it is the lowest floor for rating purposes, cannot be counted as a floor to avoid classifying the building as a low rise.
The lowest point of the ground level immediately next to a building.
The measured distance of a building's lowest floor above the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) or other datum specified on the FIRM for that location.
In V Zones, new construction must have the elevation of the lowest horizontal structural member at or above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). Horizontal structural members are obstructions and can transmit the force of wave impacts to rest of the structure. This elevation is used as the reference level to determine insurance rates. This contrasts with construction and insurance rating in A Zones, which uses the elevation of the lowest floor including basement as the reference level.
Under the provisions of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, individuals, businesses and others buying, building or improving property located in identified areas of special flood hazards within participating communities are required to purchase flood insurance as a prerequisite for receiving any type of direct or indirect federal financial assistance (e.g., any loan, grant, guaranty, insurance, payment, subsidy or disaster assistance) when the building or personal property is the subject of or security for such assistance.
An assemblage of mangrove trees which are mostly low trees noted for a copious development of interlacing adventitious roots above the ground and which contains one or more of the following species: Black mangrove, red mangrove, white mangrove, and buttonwood. Mangrove stands provide significant flood protection in some coastal areas by protecting landward areas from wave impacts. Human alteration of mangrove stands within V Zones is prohibited unless it can be demonstrated that such alteration will not increase potential flood damage.
A manufactured (mobile) home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured (mobile) homes are to be affixed (including, at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed before the effective date of the floodplain management regulations adopted by the community.
National Flood Insurance Program Requirements
The preparation of additional sites by the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including, at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads.)
National Flood Insurance Program Requirements
A manufactured home park or subdivision for which the construction of facilities for servicing the lots on which the manufactured homes are to be affixed (including, at a minimum, the installation of utilities, the construction of streets, and either final site grading or the pouring of concrete pads) is completed on or after the effective date of the floodplain management regulations adopted by the community.
National Flood Insurance Program Requirements
A parcel (or continuous parcels) of land divided into two or more manufactured home lots for rent or sale. See Manufactured (Mobile) Home for floodplain management requirements.
A change in the Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM) or Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for a community which reflects revised zone, base flood or other information.
Walls constructed of individual components laid in and bound together with mortar. These components can be brick, stone, concrete block, etc.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requires that all mechanical equipment in new or substantially improved structures be elevated to above the BFE or designed so that floodwaters cannot infiltrate or accumulate within any component of the system. This would include electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, and air conditioning equipment and other service facilities.
National Flood Insurance Program Requirements
The premium charged is incorrect because one or more of the rating characteristics used to determine the applicable premium rate for an application or renewal is discovered to be incorrect or was previously correct, but has changed. For example, a misrating will be considered to have occurred when the premium rate charged is incorrect because:
A building that has both residential and non-residential uses. Modular Building. A building that is usually transported to its site on a steel frame or special trailer because it does not have a permanent chassis like a manufactured (mobile) home. A modular building is classified and rated under 1 of the other building types.
A program designed to help lending institutions to maintain compliance with the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended. Policies written under the MPPP can be placed only through a Write Your Own (WYO) Company.
A river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water. Other earth movements, such as landslide, slope failure or a saturated soil mass moving by liquidity down a slope, are not mudflows.
An Other Residential Building that is not a condominium building.
1) The NFIP is a program that makes federally-backed flood insurance available in those states and communities that agree to adopt and enforce flood-plain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. (AFGP)
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The program of flood insurance coverage and floodplain management administered under the Act and applicable federal regulations promulgated in Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Subchapter B.
National standard reference datum for elevations, formerly referred to as Mean Sea Level (MSL) of 1929. NGVD 1929 may be used as the reference datum on some Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs).
The grade unaffected by construction techniques such as fill, landscaping or berming.
Buildings for which the "start of construction" commenced on or after the effective date of an initial Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or after December 31, 1974, whichever is later, including any subsequent improvements.
a. For Floodplain Management Purposes: Structures for which the start of construction commenced on or after the effective date of a floodplain management regulation adopted by a community and includes any subsequent improvements to such structures.
). A property that 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 the SFHA. Property newly mapped into the SFHA by a map revision on or after April 1, 2015, and meeting certain loss history requirements is eligible for the Newly Mapped rating procedure outlined in the Newly Mapped section of this manual if coverage is purchased within 1 year of the map revision and continuously maintained.
A corporation, partnership, association or any other organized entity that contracts with FEMA to be the focal point of support operations for the NFIP.
A corporation, partnership, association or any other organized entity that contracts with FEMA to service insurance policies as direct business.
Formed in 2000, a branch of the NFIP Servicing Agent to which Write Your Own (WYO) Companies transfer renewals for identified Severe Repetitive Loss (SRL) properties so that mitigation assistance can be offered to the policyholders.
Any project in a floodway must be reviewed to determine if the project will increase flood heights. An engineering analysis must be conducted before a permit can be issued. The community's permit file must have a record of the results of this analysis, which can be in the form of a No-rise Certification. This No-rise Certification must be supported by technical data and signed by a registered professional engineer.
A residential building that is not the primary residence of the policyholder.
Either a nonprimary residence or the contents within a non-primary residence, or both.
A commercial or mixed-use building where the primary use is commercial or non-habitational.
Either a non-residential building, the contents within a non-residential building, or both.
The vertical control datum established for vertical control surveying in the Unites States of America based upon the General Adjustment of the North American Datum of 1988. It replaces the National Geodetic Vertical Datum (NGVD) of 1929.
The act of declaring an insurance contract invalid from its inception so that, from a legal standpoint, the insurance contract never existed.
All new construction and substantial improvements in V Zones must have the space below the lowest floor either free of obstruction or constructed with non-supporting breakaway walls. Foundations that offer minimal resistance to floodwaters passing beneath an elevated building are required in V Zones. Fill is prohibited for the structural support of buildings in V Zones.
National Flood Insurance Program Requirements
In A Zones, all new construction and substantial improvements may have fully enclosed areas below the lowest floor that are usable solely for vehicle parking, building access, or storage, in an area other than a basement, which are subject to flooding These enclosed areas must be designed to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing the entry and exit of floodwaters. Designs to meet this requirement must be certified or meet the following criteria:
This is a subcategory of nonresidential buildings; a non-habitational building that does not qualify as a business building or residential building.
A residential building that is designed for use as a residential space for 5 or more families or a mixed-use building in which the total floor area devoted to non-residential uses is less than 25% of the total floor area within the building.
Either an other-residential building, the contents within an other residential building, or both.
Areas established under federal, state or local law or held by a qualified organization, primarily for wildlife refuge, sanctuary, recreational or natural resource conservation purposes. The only federal spending prohibition within OPAs is federal flood insurance.
An alternative outcome of the FEMA letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) review process stating that a specific property is located outside the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) as indicated on the Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM) or Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).
A community for which FEMA has authorized the sale of flood insurance under the NFIP.
Participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is voluntary. To join, the community must:
- Complete an application;
- Adopt a resolution of intent to participate and cooperate with FEMA;
- Adopt and submit a floodplain management ordinance that meets or exceeds the minimum NFIP criteria. The floodplain management ordinance must also adopt any FIRM or FHBM for the community.
Within participating communities, the Federal government makes flood insurance available throughout the community.
A permit is required before construction or development begins within any Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). If FEMA has not defined the SFHA within a community, the community shall require permits for all proposed construction or other development in the community including the placement of manufactured homes, so that it may determine whether such construction or other development is proposed within flood-prone areas. Permits are required to ensure that proposed development projects meet the requirements of the NFIP and the community's floodplain management ordinance.
The entire written contract between the insured and the insurer. It includes the following:
o The printed policy form;
o The Application and declarations page;
o Any endorsement(s) that may be issued; and
o Any renewal certificate indicating that coverage has been instituted for a new policy and new policy term.
o Only 1 dwelling, specifically described by the prospective policyholder in the Application, may be insured under a policy.
Substances that include, but are not limited to, any solid, liquid, gaseous or thermal irritant or contaminant, including smoke, vapor, soot, fumes, acids, alkalis, chemicals and waste. "Waste" includes, but is not limited to, materials to be recycled, reconditioned or reclaimed.
A flood hazard that occurs in flat areas when there are depressions in the ground that collect "ponds" of water. The ponding hazard is represented by the zone designation AH on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).
The number of individuals residing in a geographic area. The population figure is based on the most recent official census and only includes those individuals who permanently reside within the jurisdiction served. Population figures do not include daily or seasonal population surges.
A building for which construction or substantial improvement occurred after December 31, 1974 or on or after the effective date of an initial Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), whichever is later.
Post-Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) buildings are new construction and those built after the effective date of the first FIRM for a community. Insurance rates for Post-FIRM buildings are dependent on the elevation of the lowest floor in relation to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).
A building for which construction or substantial improvement occurred on or before December 31, 1974 or before the effective date of an initial Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).
A lower-cost Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) written under the Dwelling Form or General Property Form. It offers fixed combinations of building/contents coverage limits or contents-only coverage. The PRP is available for property located in B, C and X Zones in Regular Program communities that meets eligibility requirements based on the property’s flood loss history. It is also available for buildings that are eligible under the PRP Eligibility Extension.
The total amount that must be submitted with an application or renewal in order to be acceptable for coverage. It is determined by adding the Federal Policy Fee to the Total Prepaid Premium.
The amount on the application (excluding the Preferred Risk Policy [PRP] Application) that includes the Annual Subtotal, the Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) Premium, the Community Rating System (CRS) Premium Discount (if applicable), and the Probation Surcharge (if applicable).
The date of the check or credit card payment by the applicant or applicant’s representative if the premium payment is not part of a loan closing or the date of closing, if the premium payment is part of a loan closing.
A single family building, condominium unit, apartment unit, or unit within a cooperative building that will be lived in by the policyholder or the policyholder's spouse for:
• More than 50% of the 365 calendar days following the current policy effective date; or
• 50% or less of the 365 calendar days following the current policy effective date if the policyholder has only one residence and does not lease that residence to another party or use it as rental or income property at any time during the policy term.
Either a primary residence or the contents within a primary residence, or both.
A single-family dwelling in which, at the time of loss, the named insured or the named insured’s spouse has lived for either 80% of the 365 days immediately preceding the loss or 80% of the period of ownership, if less than 365 days.
A building that has at least 51% of its Actual Cash Value (ACV), including machinery and equipment, above ground.
A flat charge that the policyholder must pay on each new or renewal policy issued covering property in a community that the NFIP has placed on probation under the provisions of 44 CFR 59.24.
Communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) must have adequate permitting and other administrative procedures in place to assure compliance with their ordinance. A program deficiency is a defect in a community's floodplain management regulations or administrative procedures that impairs effective implementation of floodplain management regulations of the standards in 44 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) sections 60.3, 60.4, or 60.6. Communities will be required to correct any program deficiencies that identified.
A policyholder’s statement of the amount of money being requested, signed to and sworn to by the policyholder with documentation to support the amount requested.
All enclosures below the lowest elevated floor must be designed to automatically equalize hydrostatic flood forces on exterior walls by allowing for the entry and exit of floodwaters. A minimum of 2 openings, with positioning on at least 2 walls, having a total net area of not less than 1 square inch for every square foot of enclosed area subject to flooding must be provided. The bottom of all openings must be no higher than 1 foot above the higher of the exterior or interior (adjacent) or floor immediately below the openings.
Up to $1,000 of reasonable expenses incurred by the insured to temporarily remove insured property from the described location because of flood or the imminent danger of flood.
A method for placing flood coverage prior to the receipt of a FEMA Elevation Certificate.
The community must review all permit applications to determine whether the proposed building sites will be reasonably safe from flooding as one of the minimum National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) floodplain management requirements established by NFIP regulations. If the community determines that a site is not reasonably safe from flooding, it must require mitigation actions be undertaken to reduce the structures flood damage potential.
A vehicle which is:
- Built on a single chassis;
- 400 square feet or less when measured at the largest horizontal projection;
- Designed to be self-propelled or permanently towable by a light duty truck; and
- Designed primarily not for use as a permanent dwelling but as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping, travel, or seasonal use.
A recreational vehicle placed on a site in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) must meet the elevation and anchoring requirements for manufactured homes, unless it:
A community wherein a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) is in effect and full limits of coverage are available under the Act.
After a period of suspension from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for failure to adopt or enforce floodplain management regulations or for repealing or amending previously compliant floodplain management regulations, a community may be reinstated into the Program. Certain conditions may be imposed upon its participation prior to and after reinstatement. Flood insurance is available in communities that have been reinstated.
An NFIP-insured structure that has had at least 2 paid flood losses of more than $1,000 each in any 10-year period since 1978.
The cost to replace property with the same kind of material and construction without deduction for depreciation.
An amount dedicated to the NFIP Reserve Fund as authorized by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW12).
A non-commercial building designed for habitation by one or more families or a mixed-use building that qualifies as a single-family, 2 - 4 family, or other residential building.
A building, owned and administered as a condominium, containing 1 or more family units and in which at least 75 percent of the floor area is residential.
See "Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP)-Residential Condominium Building Association Policy (RCBAP)."
Either a residential building or the contents within a residential building, or both.
FEMA has established administrative procedures for changing effective Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Insurance Study (FIS) reports based on new or revised scientific or technical data. A physical change to the affected FIRM panels and portions of the FIS is referred to as a ''physical map revision.'' When FEMA revises a community's FIRM, the community is required to amend its floodplain management regulations within 6 months of being notified to incorporate the new data.Changes can also be made by a Letter of Map Change (LOMC).
Naturally occurring accumulations of sand in ridges or mounds landward of the beach. Human alteration of sand dunes within V Zones is prohibited unless it can be demonstrated that such alteration will not increase potential flood damage.
Sand dunes are important first lines of defense against coastal storms and can do much to reduce losses to inland coastal development. It can be assumed that any removal or other alteration of a sand dune will render the dune more susceptible to erosion and increase potential damages to structures behind that dune.
A policy that requires a specific amount of insurance to be designated for each building and its contents.
Setbacks may be used to keep development out of harm's way. Setback standards establish minimum distances that structures must be positioned (or set back) from river channels and coastal shorelines. Setbacks can be defined by vertical heights or horizontal distances. Setbacks are not required by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The Community Rating System (CRS) credits setbacks under Higher Regulatory Standards, Special Hazards Regulations.
Any building that:
1. Is covered under a Standard Flood Insurance Policy made available under this title;
2. Has incurred flood damage for which:
a. 4 or more separate claim payments have been made under a Standard Flood Insurance Policy issued pursuant to this title, with the amount of each such claim exceeding $5,000, and with the cumulative amount of such claims payments exceeding $20,000; or
Either a severe repetitive loss building or the contents within a severe repetitive loss building, or both.
Walls used for structural support but not structurally joined or enclosed at the ends (except by breakaway walls). Shear walls are parallel or nearly parallel, to the flow of the water and can be used in any flood zone.
A type of flood hazard with flooding depths of 1 to 3 feet that occurs in areas of sloping land. The sheet flow hazard is represented by the zone designation AO on the FIRM.
A building that is separated from other buildings by intervening clear space or solid, vertical, load-bearing division walls.
1. A residential single-family building in which the total floor area devoted to non-residential uses is less than 50% of the building's total floor area, or
2. A single-family residential unit within a 2-4 family building, other-residential building, business, or non-residential building, in which commercial uses within the unit are limited to less than 50% of the unit's total floor area.
Walls that are used as a means of elevating a building in A Zones and that must contain sufficient openings to allow for the unimpeded flow of floodwaters more than 1 foot deep.
An area having special flood, mudflow or flood-related erosion hazards and shown on a Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM) or a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) Zone A, AO, A1-A30, AE, A99, AH, AR, AR/A, AR/AE, AR/AH, AR/AO, AR/A1-A30, V1-V30, VE or V. The SFHA is the area where the National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP's) floodplain management regulations must be enforced and the area where the mandatory purchase of flood insurance applies. For the purpose of determining Community Rating System (CRS) premium discounts, all AR and A99 zones are treated as non-SFHAs.
A foundation with a vertical offset in the floor framing on either side of a common wall.
1. Dwelling Form. The policy form used to insure a building designed for use as a residence for no more than 4 families or a single-family unit in a residential building under a condominium form of ownership. This form is also used to insure residential contents in any building. The owner of a residential building with 5 or more units can use this form to insure contents only in his or her own residential unit.
a. For other than new construction or substantial improvements, under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA), this is the date the building permit was issued, provided that the actual start of construction, repair, rehabilitation, addition, placement or other improvement was within 180 days of the permit date.
Merchandise held in storage or for sale, raw materials and in-process or finished goods, including supplies used in their packing or shipping. "Stock" does not include any property not covered under "Section IV. Property not Covered" of the General Property Form, except the following:
• Parts and equipment for self-propelled vehicles;
• Furnishings and equipment for watercraft;
• Spas and hot-tubs, including their equipment; and
• Swimming pool equipment.
All new construction and substantial improvements must have any fully enclosed area below the lowest floor useable solely for storage, parking or access. The type of storage permitted in an enclosed lower area should be limited to that which is incidental and accessory to the principal use of the structure. For example, if the structure is a residence, storage should be limited to items such as lawn and garden equipment, snow tires, and other low damage items which will not suffer flood damage or can be conveniently moved to the elevated part of the building.
a. A walled and roofed building, other than a gas or liquid storage tank, principally above ground and affixed to a permanent site as well as a manufactured home on a permanent foundation.
A community must review subdivision proposals and other proposed new development including manufactured home parks or subdivisions, to determine whether such proposals will be reasonably safe from flooding.
If a subdivision proposal or other proposed new development is in a flood-prone area, any such proposals shall be reviewed to assure that:
A crawlspace foundation where the subgrade under-floor area is no more than 5 feet below the top of the next-higher floor and no more than 2 feet below the lowest adjacent grade on all sides.
An application for flood insurance on a building for which no risk rate is published in the NFIP Flood Insurance Manual. Insurance coverage can be obtained only after the insurer has approved the application and has established the risk premium rate.
The insurance premium rate tables used for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) do not cover cases where the building is two or more feet below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). The insurance agent must send the application for flood insurance to the company headquarters for a special, individualized rating. This procedure is known as submit-to-rate.
A rate charged to a group of policies that results in aggregate premiums insufficient to pay anticipated losses and expenses for that group.
A building that has incurred damage of any origin whereby the cost of restoring the building to its before damaged condition would equal or exceed 50% of the market value of the building before the damage occurred.
Either a substantially damaged building or the contents within a substantially damaged building, or both.
A building that has undergone reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement, the cost of which equals or exceeds 50% of the market value of the building before the "start of construction" of the improvement. This term does not include a building that has undergone reconstruction, rehabilitation, addition, or other improvement related to:
Either a substantially improved building or the contents within a substantially improved building, or both.
When a community is placed on probation by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), each policyholder within the community will be assessed an additional $50.00 on their premium for a one-year period. Beginning on the date probation becomes effective, the surcharge will be assessed on all new and renewal policies issued in the community. The surcharge will always run for a full one-year period even if the community brings its program into compliance and is removed from probation.
A pool adjacent to an elevated V Zone building may be constructed at grade or elevated so that the lowest horizontal structural member supporting the pool is at or above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). A design professional must assure community officials that a pool beneath or adjacent to an elevated V Zone building will not divert waves and increase the potential damage to any nearby buildings.
NFIP rates used to issue policies for applications that fail to provide the NFIP with valid actuarial rating information.
Under the NFIP, a travel trailer can be considered a building only if it is without wheels, built on a chassis and affixed to a permanent foundation and regulated under the community's floodplain management and building ordinances or laws.
A residential building, including an apartment building, containing two to four residential spaces and in which commercial uses are limited to less than 25% of the building's total floor area.
A building for which 50% or more of the Actual Cash Value (ACV), including machinery and equipment that are part of the building, is below ground.
An enclosed area that is used only for the parking of vehicles, building access or storage purposes and that does not meet the definition of a finished (habitable) area. Drywall used for fire protection is permitted in unfinished areas.
A unit owned by the policyholder in a condominium building.
If a proposed building site is in an Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), the building support utility systems for all new construction and substantial improvements shall:
(1) Be constructed with electrical, heating, ventilation, plumbing, and air conditioning equipment and other service facilities that are designed and/or located so as to prevent water from entering or accumulating within the components during conditions of flooding;
National Flood Insurance Progam (NFIP) regulations require coastal communities to ensure that buildings built in V Zones are anchored to resist wind and water loads acting simultaneously. Buildings in V Zones are subject to a greater hazard than buildings built in other types of floodplains. Not only do they have to be elevated above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), they must be protected from the impact of waves, hurricane-force winds and erosion.
A policy in which the insured and the insurer agree on the value of the property insured, that value being payable in the event of a total loss. The Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP) is not a valued policy.
The failure of a structure or other development to be fully compliant with the community's floodplain management regulations. A structure or other development without the elevation certificate, other certifications, or other evidence of compliance required by the community's floodplain management ordinance is presumed to be in violation until such time as that documentation is provided.
The time between the date of application and the policy effective date.
A building that has two or more exterior rigid walls and a fully secured roof and that is affixed to a permanent site.
A watercourse means only the channel and banks of an identifiable watercourse, and not the adjoining floodplain areas. The flood carrying capacity of a watercourse refers to the flood carrying capacity of the channel (except in the case of alluvial fans, where a channel is not typically defined).
A measurement that is added to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) for V Zones shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) published prior to 1981. For coastal communities, the BFE shown on FIRMs published prior to 1981 are stillwater elevations, which include only the effects of tide and storm surge and not the height of wind-generated waves.
Wet Floodproofing includes permanent or contingent measures applied to a structure or its contents that prevent or provide resistance to damage from flooding while allowing floodwaters to enter the structure or area. Generally, this includes properly anchoring the structure, using flood resistant materials below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), protection of mechanical and utility equipment, and use of openings or breakaway walls.
A cooperative undertaking of the insurance industry and FEMA begun in October 1983. The Write Your Own (WYO) Program operates within the context of the NFIP and involves private insurance carriers who issue and service NFIP policies.
A geographical area shown on a Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM) or a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that reflects the severity or type of flooding in the area.
Areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding and a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30‐year mortgage. Because detailed analyses are not performed for such areas; no depths or base flood elevations are shown within these zones.
These are known as numbered A Zones (e.g., A7 or A14). This is the base floodplain where the FIRM shows a BFE (old format).
Areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding that will be protected by a Federal flood control system where construction has reached specified legal requirements. No depths or base flood elevations are shown within these zones.
The base floodplain where base flood elevations are provided. AE Zones are now used on new format FIRMs instead of A1‐A30 Zones.
Areas with a 1% annual chance of shallow flooding, usually in the form of a pond, with an average depth ranging from 1 to 3 feet. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30‐year mortgage. Base flood elevations derived from detailed analyses are shown at selected intervals within these zones.
River or stream flood hazard areas, and areas with a 1% or greater chance of shallow flooding each year, usually in the form of sheet flow, with an average depth ranging from 1 to 3 feet. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30‐year mortgage. Average flood depths derived from detailed analyses are shown within these zones.
Areas with a temporarily increased flood risk due to the building or restoration of a flood control system (such as a levee or a dam). Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements will apply, but rates will not exceed the rates for unnumbered A zones if the structure is built or restored in compliance with Zone AR floodplain management regulations.
Area of moderate flood hazard, usually the area between the limits of the 100‐ year and 500‐year floods. B Zones are also used to designate base floodplains of lesser hazards, such as areas protected by levees from 100‐year flood, or shallow flooding areas with average depths of less than one foot or drainage areas less than 1 square mile.
Area of minimal flood hazard, usually depicted on FIRMs as above the 500‐year flood level. Zone C may have ponding and local drainage problems that don't warrant a detailed study or designation as base floodplain. Zone X is the area determined to be outside the 500‐year flood and protected by levee from 100‐ year flood.
Areas with possible but undetermined flood hazards. No flood hazard analysis has been conducted. Flood insurance rates are commensurate with the uncertainty of the flood risk.
Coastal areas with a 1% or greater chance of flooding and an additional hazard associated with storm waves. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30‐year mortgage. No base flood elevations are shown within these zones.
Coastal areas with a 1% or greater chance of flooding and an additional hazard associated with storm waves. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30‐year mortgage. Base flood elevations derived from detailed analyses are shown at selected intervals within these zones.