I decided to write an update to my previous post for Jupiter Farms Flood Zones. The flood (FIRM) maps were updated effective October 2017 and if you are reading this then you got a letter from you lender saying…HI! You’re in a flood zone now. You’re required to have flood insurance on the property. Buy some, or we’ll force place a policy.
To start with check the flood zone they think you are in. The Palm Beach county has a great on line GIS system that’s very easy to use. Plug in your address and presto. LOOK AT THE MAPS TOO!!! Flood insurance rating is based on the elevation of your lowest living area. Some in Jupiter Farms have key west style stilt houses but most have elevated slabs on grade. If you do not have an elevation certificate (EC) prepared by a land surveyor then the insurer will use a computer program to determine your zone. BUT these computer programs will rate your policy as if the lowest living area is below the base flood elevation if the base flood elevation is anywhere on your property. But that’s not how it should be done. If you have a flood policy, like me, then FEMA sent you a so called ‘Letter F’ which basically states…Your existing flood policy is rated (priced) based upon a Zone B and your current flood zone is (next year the policy will be priced as) a Zone B, or whatever. THIS LETTER IS GOLD DON’T LOOSE IT. To get another one from FEMA costs $80. To get an elevation certificate from a surveyor is several hundred. Don’t skip over all this placated by the agent telling you your grandfathered so the policy only went up by a little. Next year it will go up allot. And if you are a SFHA then your MUST have flood insurance if you have a federally backed loan. It will also affect remodeling and re-building should you have a total loss at the property. PAY ATTENTION TO AND GET THE RIGHT FLOOD ZONE DETERMINATION FOR YOUR STRUCTURE NOTED BY FEMA, YOUR FLOOD POLICY AND THE COUNTY.
The flood zone names have changed so here’s what you’ll see on the county site and how it corresponds, IN GENERAL. You will search for your property and see “Effective Flood Zone (October 2017): X” Most of the Farms shows as a non-printed flood map boundary on the FEMA web site. Zone X is OK but if it states anything else like Zone AE then you should look up the panel on the locator map, download it and look at it to make sure your structure, not your land, is in the stated zone. If the zone goes through your structure call a surveyor for an elevation certificate or request from FEMa a letter of determination from FEMA or apply for a Letter of Map Amendment for an “Out as Shown” or some other beneficial determination.
DO NOT LET THE LENDER DO A FORCED PLACEMENT POLICY. THEY ARE VERY EXPENSIVE AND ONLY INSURE THE LENDER, THE STRUCTURE AND NOT YOUR PERSONAL PROPERTY.
Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). 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. For the purpose of determining Community Rating System (CRS) premium discounts, all AR and A99 zones are treated as non-SFHAs.
Shaded Zone X is a moderate risk areas within the 0.2-percent-annual-chance floodplain, areas of 1-percent-annual-chance flooding where average depths are less than 1 foot, areas of 1-percent-annual-chance flooding where the contributing drainage area is less than 1 square mile, and areas protected from the 1-percent-annual-chance flood by a levee. No BFEs or base flood depths are shown within these zones. (Zone X (shaded) is used on new and revised maps in place of Zone B.)