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Flood Insurance Requirements and Options

When the new maps become effective, flood insurance requirements will change.  However, options exist that will allow property owners to save money while still protecting their property.

Visit FEMA’s website ( or Hays County’s ( to find your property and determine your flood risk.

If Maps Show…

These Requirements, Options and Savings Apply

Change from moderate or low flood risk to high risk (flood Zone B, C, or X to Zone A, AE, AH, AO) Flood insurance is mandatory. Flood insurance will be federally required for most mortgage holders. Insurance costs may rise to reflect the true (high) risk.

Rating Options can offer savings. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides savings by allowing lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) rates to be used the first 12 months after a new flood map becomes effective. Premiums will then increase no more than 18 percent each year. Affected property owners are encouraged to buy a PRP before the maps become effective for additional savings.

Change from high flood risk to moderate or low risk (e.g., flood Zone A, AE, AH, AO, to Zone X or shaded X) Flood insurance is optional but recommended. The risk has only been reduced, not removed. Flood insurance can still be obtained, and at lower rates. More than 20 percent of all flood insurance claims and one-third of flood disaster claims come from moderate-to-low-risk areas.

Conversion offers savings. An existing policy can be easily converted to a lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy, if the building qualifies. Note that lenders always have the option to require flood insurance in these areas.

Increase in the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) An increase in BFE can result in higher premiums; however, “grandfathering” can offer savings. The NFIP grandfathering rules allow policyholders who built in compliance with the flood map in effect at the time of construction to keep the earlier base flood elevation to calculate their insurance rate. This could result in significant savings.
No change in risk level No change in insurance rates. However, this is a good time to review coverage and ensure building and contents are adequately insured.


Hays County