The recently completed construction of two Valley Water flood protection projects (the Lower Silver Creek Flood Protection and Creek Restoration Project and the Cunningham Flood Detention Facility Project) updated your area's Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). The new FIRM is effective as of November 26, 2021.
The final LOMR and revised maps are available online from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) map service center at www.msc.fema.gov.
The FIRM change allows for eliminating mandatory federal flood insurances requirements as required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA approved changes to flood maps when it approved a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) application submitted jointly by Valley Water, the City of San Jose, and Santa Clara County.
The LOMR changes the flood zone designation for your property, or a portion of your property, from a FEMA 100-year floodplain Zone A (e.g., Zone AE, AH, AO) to a FEMA zone with lower flooding risk (e.g., Zone X). Properties within the 100-year FEMA floodplain have a 1% annual chance of flooding to one foot or greater depth.
Despite removing the mandatory flood insurance requirement, FEMA and Valley Water suggest you consider the voluntary purchase of flood insurance because high-risk areas are not the only ones in danger of flooding. You might consider contacting your insurance provider to discuss flood insurance options for your property under the new flood designation.
Starting the insurance removal process
Each lender may have different requirements for property owners to obtain a waiver from the requirement to hold a flood insurance policy after their property has been
remapped from a 100-year FEMA flood zone to a lower risk Zone X. Also, contact your insurance provider to inform them of this change and to get details on the removal or refund process. The following are suggested actions you can take to help get you started with your lender process:
- Confirm that your building has been placed in Zone X.
a. Use the map link on this website to see if your property zoning has changed.
b. If your property is in Zone X, print a copy of the map showing your property’s address. Although not an official FEMA document, this document may help your lender quickly see that your property has been removed from the FEMA 100-year floodplain.
- Gather Basic Documents as your lender is likely going to request documentation stating the change.
a. Obtain a copy of the Final Letter of Map Revision (LOMR official FEMA document showing the flood plain) document issued by FEMA. Click on this link to download and print a copy.
b. Print a copy of the letter you received from Valley Water informing you of FEMA’s LOMR approval. c. Include the map from step one.
- Call your lender to inform them of the new flood zone designation and discuss the documents you have to support your request. Ask if other documents are needed to remove your property from the mandatory federal flood insurances requirements as required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
- Send your lender the materials requested to obtain a waiver from the requirement to hold flood insurance.
- If you purchased insurance from an insurance agent:
When you receive the waiver letter from your lender, contact your insurance agent and ask to have the policy canceled or ask about rate options to reflect the reduced flooding risk at your property. Being removed from a high-risk flood zone doesn’t mean your property has no flood risk. It’s best to maintain coverage to protect your home or business.
If your lender purchased the flood insurance policy for you and billed you for it:
Ask your lender to cancel the policy and change the rates to reflect the reduced flooding risk at your property.
Your insurance agent or lender will determine what refund standards apply to your policy.
Check the map to verify if your property is out of the floodplain and in Zone X.
Valley Water does not advise people to cancel their flood insurance as flooding risks still exist.
Additional Contact Information
For more information about the Final LOMR and revised maps, please contact:
City of San Jose Public Works Department: (408) 535-3500
Santa Clara County Land Development Engineering - Development Services Office: (408) 299-5732
If you have questions about FEMA mapping or insurance, you can contact the FEMA Mapping and Insurance Exchange (FMIX) by phone at 1-877-336-2627, email [email protected], or live chat https://www.floodmaps.fema.gov/fhm/fmx_main.html.