Flood risk can, and often changes over time. New development, changes in levee classification, and environmental changes can all cause changes to an area’s Flood risks. As a result FEMA recently updated flood hazard maps across the country including in Kansas City, Missouri. These new flood maps, also known as, Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DFIRMs), show flood risk at a property-by-property level.
When new maps are issued, your risk may have changed and also your flood insurance requirements. If your property is mapped out of a high-risk area, your flood insurance costs will likely decrease. If you’ve been mapped into a high-risk area, you will be required to purchase flood insurance if your mortgage is through a federally regulated or insured lender. But you can save money with the newly mapped procedure and through a process known as grandfathering provided by the NFIP.
If you live near a levee, your flood risk may be higher than you thought. Hundreds of levees across the country no longer meet federal standards for protection, so when new maps are issued, these areas will be shown as high risk.
FEMA and the City of Kansas City, Missouri want you to know your options for addressing the changes to the flood-risk of your property. Based on the updated maps, your property may fall into one of these categories:
- Newly identified as located in a high risk, Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). In this case, the property owner of any structure located in an SFHA and that has a federally-backed mortgage is required to maintain flood insurance on the structure. You need to act immediately to secure the lowest rates.
- Previously identified and remains in a high risk or SFHA. You should act immediately to determine options for locking in your current insurance rate.
- New floodplain maps determine structure is no longer in the SFHA. You may be able to reduce your flood insurance needs once the new maps become effective.
Please note:Even if you do not currently have a federally-backed mortgage, you should act immediately to determine options to avoid high mandatory flood insurance rates should a mortgage be needed by you or a buyer in the future. Lower flood insurance rates locked down now are transferrable to a future buyer.
The City was required to adopt the new floodplain maps, effective January 20, 2017 in order for residents to continue to be eligible for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Thanks to the City’s efforts under the NFIP’s Community Rating System, KCMO residents are eligible to receive a reduction in their flood insurance premiums.
You need to act in the following ways to address your flood-risk and insurance needs:
Find out your risk: Use the City’s Online Mapping system
Add your address to the search bar.
Click on the Layers tab
Check the box for Floodplain
Call your insurance agent:
FEMA requires all structures with federally backed mortgages to be covered under a flood insurance policy. By acting quickly, you may be able to secure a lower rate. Lower flood insurance rates locked down now are also transferrable to a future buyer.
For additional help contact the NFIP: 1-913-837-5220 or Abishop@nfip-iservice.com
Ally Bishop with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can assist with your questions about flood insurance and your property’s flood risk determination.
The Official Site of the National Flood Insurance Program