Floodplain Map Viewer FAQ
Licking County Planning and Development
Flood Plain Map Viewer

Does my house require flood insurance?

If your insurable structure lies within the FEMA designated Special Flood Hazard Area, then yes you are required to have flood insurance if there is a federally backed loan on the property. If you own the property outright then the requirement for flood insurance is lifted. However, we do suggest that you keep a flood insurance policy on the structure.

What if my house is not touched by the floodplain but my parcel is; do I still have to have flood insurance?

Technically you do not have to carry a flood insurance policy. However, the lending institution you are working with always has the right to require a flood insurance policy for the structure. The lender actually owns your property until you pay it off. By requiring flood insurance on the property they are protecting their investment..

I bought a parcel of land with no structure on it, in the floodplain. I was told that there would be no insurance requirement when I bought it. Now I want to build a house and am being told that I have to purchase a flood insurance policy. Why?

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) does not insure land, it only insures structures. Because the land was vacant and the NFIP does not insure land, then there would be no requirement for flood insurance. If you build a house on the land, then the lending institution will require flood insurance to protect the house. If you do not borrow money to build the house then the flood insurance requirement is lifted. However, we do recommend that you keep a flood insurance policy on the house in case of a disaster.

How much can I expect to pay for flood insurance?

A licensed insurance agent in your area can give you a quote. There should not be variation in prices from company to company. FEMA mandates that each insurance company rate the policies the same based on what is being covered..

I refinanced my house and now my lender is telling me I need flood insurance when I never had to have any before. Why?

In the past, some lenders may not have been so good at enforcing the requirement for flood insurance. Recently, there has been a round of legislation introduced in congress that makes it very difficult for lenders to miss the requirements. Before they may have overlooked the requirement, now lenders may get penalized for overlooking it. There also may have been a FIRM revision that mapped the structure into the floodplain. In this instance, before the revision placed the structure in the floodplain, there would not have been a flood insurance requirement. The refinance of the house triggered the lender to check the location of the structure in relation to the floodplain. It would now show as being in the floodplain and therefore require flood insurance.

If I don’t want flood insurance can I get out of it?

Assuming that you owe a mortgage on your house the short answer is no. Federal requirements for those whose house is touched by the floodplain is that you have to have flood insurance; there are no exceptions. Even if your house does not touch the flood plain, your lender can still place the requirement on you that you must carry a flood insurance policy. If you own your house, or buy your house outright, then you are not required to have a flood insurance policy. However, it is strongly recommended that if you are within the floodplain, or even close to it, that you purchase a flood insurance policy..

I think my house will be added to the floodplain, what should I do?

If your house is added to the floodplain then you will be required to add a flood insurance policy if you owe money on the house. You can add a flood insurance policy before your house is added to the floodplain. The advantage to doing this is that your house will be rated on the current National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) maps. This means that you will get a zone X policy which is significantly cheaper than a zone A, AE, or AE Floodway policy. When your house is added to the floodplain you will be allowed to keep your zone X insurance rate.

What is a 100 year flood?

Flood hazard areas identified on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) are identified as a Special Flood Hazard Area(SFHA). SFHA’s are defined as the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The 1% annual chance flood is also referred to as the base flood or the 100-year flood. What it does not mean is that the flooding event will only happen once every 100 years. The 100 year flood may be experienced once every 50 years or as frequently as twice a year. It is hard to predict when flooding will happen, the 100 year flood level is just an indication of when property damage is likely to happen.

What are the different types of Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA’s)?

For regulation purposes there are three different types of SFHA’s. Zone A is the zone where FEMA does not have on the ground studies; an unstudied zone. Instead they use best available data (topographic maps, historical resources, insurance records, etc.) to make determinations as to where the flood zone is. Zone AE is a flood zone that FEMA has studies for; a studied zone. Flood zone determinations are based off of these studies. Zone AE Floodway is a studied area like zone AE, the difference is that the floodway in this zone conveys most of the flood waters out of the area. This is the most restrictive zone as far as development and regulations are concerned. The county is gradually transitioning to having all AE and AE Floodway zones; there will not be any A zones. Zone X simply means out of the floodplain. There are other zones as well but they do not apply to this county.

Who delineates the flood zones?

FEMA provides funding to update or re-delineate flood maps across the nation. They work through CTP’s cooperative technical partners to coordinate the mapping efforts. A third party contractor is hired to do mapping and H&H modeling that is used to delineate the flood zones on your communities FIRM’s throughout the process. FEMA, the CTP, and the contractor engage the communities and their citizens for input

Who enforces the flood zone regulations?

Local communities that participate in the NFIP enforce their own locally adopted floodplain management regulations.

What is the Community Rating System (CRS)?

It is a voluntary program for recognizing and encouraging community flood plain management activities exceeding the minimum NFIP standards. Under the CRS, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reward community actions that meet the three goals of the CRS, which are: (1) reduce flood damage to insurable property; (2) strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP; and (3) encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management. Licking County has the highest rating in the state at a level 7. This means that those living in the floodplain, in the unincorporated areas of the county, are eligible to receive a 15% discount on their flood insurance.

What is a Letter of Map Amendment?

A Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) is an official amendment, by letter, to an effective National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) map. A LOMA establishes a property’s location in relation to the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). LOMAs are usually issued because a property has been inadvertently mapped as being in the floodplain, but is actually on natural high ground above the base flood elevation. In order to submit a LOMA, a professional surveyor licensed in the state of Ohio must do the survey work and submit the LOMA form to FEMA. It usually takes FEMA 30-60 days to make the determination of whether a property is in or out of the flood plain. FEMA will notify the property owner in writing of the determination. will also send a copy of the official determination to the county office responsible for flood plain administration.

What is the 100 year flood?

The 100 year flood is also known as the 1% annual chance of flooding. It is the basis of rise in flood water depths that is used as the base flood for determination of flood special flood hazard areas. It does not mean that it will only flood once every 100 years. The 100 year flood could happen multiple times in one year, once in ten years, or once in 100 years. No one knows when a 100 year flood will happen, it is just a term used for measurement and standards purposes.

I have lived in my house for 40 years and water has never gotten close. Why do I still have to pay flood insurance?

Because you have never experienced flooding does not mean you never will. Remember, the 100 year flood can happen multiple times every year, once in ten years, or once in 100 years. No one can predict with any accuracy which years the floods will come. It also may be that your property was inadvertently placed in the floodplain when FEMA did its last round of mapping. If you think you property was inadvertently placed in the flood plain reference the Letter of Map Amendment question.

What is a Base Flood Elevation (BFE)?

The BFE is the computed elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during the base flood (100 year flood). Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) in zone AE, AE Floodway, and on the flood profiles.

I want to build my house in the floodplain, can I do it?

You can build your house in the floodplain, but if you have a federally backed mortgage/loan for the construction of the home you will be required to have flood insurance. However, building outside of the floodplain would reduce the cost of, if not eliminate the need for flood insurance. Depending on the flood risk zone you are in there will be extra regulations that you have to follow if you choose to build within the regulatory floodplain. You should start your process by visiting the local office that administers the floodplain for your area. The staff can help guide you and explain what may need to happen and what options you may have. Keep in mind that building a house in the floodplain usually means incurring extra costs associated with regulation, compliance, and construction.

Why do I have to have a flood plain permit?

A flood plain permit alerts local authorities that there is activity taking place in the flood plain. This is important because any activity that happens in the flood plain affects those upstream and downstream from the site. It is the flood plain administrator’s duties to ensure that the capacity of the flood plain is not affected and that unnecessary burden is not placed on surrounding landowners. The purpose is to prevent loss of life and damage to property.

What if I don’t get a floodplain permit?

If you decide to not get a flood plain permit while you are performing any type of construction or earth moving activity in the floodplain you could face legal action including steep fines. The best bet is to contact your local flood plain administrator’s office and talk it over with them. They have staff that can walk you through the process and discuss your project.