Are you aware that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recently revised flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virginia? This means your flood insurance premium could potentially go up or down as a result of this change.
Since 2013, FEMA has been updating Maryland county maps one by one. The new maps are already in effect for Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Kent County. The rest of the counties will be updated by early 2016, except for Allegany, Garrett, Howard, Frederick, Montgomery and Washington Counties that are not being remapped as a part of this initiative.
Use this schedule to determine when the new maps roll out for your location (also available on mdfloodmaps.net)
- Queen Anne’s – November 2014
- Calvert – November 2014
- St. Mary’s – November 2014
- Caroline – January 2015
- Somerset – February 2015
- Anne Arundel – February 2015
- Dorchester – March 2015
- Cecil – May 2015
- Charles – May 2015
- Washington – January 2015
- Allegany – TBD
How Does This Affect You?
When you originally purchased your flood insurance, your rate was based on whether your home was located in a low-risk, moderate-risk, high-risk or a no-risk flood zone. The updated FIRMs could have changed this, moving your home into a different zone. If you don’t have flood insurance, you might now be required to purchase it if your mortgaged home is located in a high-risk flood zone according to the new maps.
What You Should Do
- Determine whether you have flood insurance—remember, flood damage is not covered under your homeowner’s policy.
- Get a copy of your current flood insurance policy from your insurance agent if you don’t have one at home.
- Check digital flood maps online to determine whether your property is in the floodplain and whether the risk factors changed.
- Talk to your Maryland insurance agent if you have any questions or think coverage adjustment might be necessary.
It can be confusing and frustrating to navigate the digital flood maps. Although FEMA did its best to make this process user-friendly, it might take a while to find the information you need via the online mapping service. Feel free to contact Freedom Insurance with any questions regarding flood insurance. We will help you determine whether the new maps affect your property and figure out which policy adjustments might be necessary.
If your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you could be eligible for lower rates or even “grandfathered” rates that don’t significantly change as new maps go into effect. In order to take advantage of the “grandfathering,” FEMA recommends obtaining a flood insurance policy before the new maps officially become effective in your area. If you have found yourself in a high-risk zone, act quickly to lock in your lower rates.
Call us at (410)795-2000 to have your flood insurance questions answered!