The Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) process
When your lender sends you a 45-day letter requiring you to purchase flood insurance, don’t panic. Here is what you should do.
First, get flood insurance before the 45 days expires. If you don’t, the lender will force place it. The premium will be very expensive. Ask for a “Preferred Risk Policy” or a “B,C,X rated policy”.
You will get ALL of your insurance premiums back if you are successful with the LOMA process.
You will need the following:
1. An Elevation Certificate. Call a surveyor or engineer to do this for you. Get someone who has survey experience around the lake. The surveyor or engineer should use the “Comments” section to explain how and from where he got the Base Flood Elevation used on the Elevation Certificate. For Alabama Power Company lakes, there have been no FEMA studies. However, there is “Best Available Data” that the community has sanctioned for these purposes.
2. A FIRMette which is a miniature version of the flood map panel on which your property and structure lies. The surveyor should be able to do this for you or you can do it yourself. If you want to do it yourself, use the following link to access FEMA’s Map Service Center web page. Follow the instructions and try the tutorial to “Create a FIRMette”. www.msc.fema.gov.
3. A copy of a properly recorded and registered deed or plat.
4. The Form 1 of the MT-1 Application package.
5. Send all four documents to FEMA at the address listed on the MT-1 Application instructions. The LOMA is free.
6. Wait 60 days for a response.
If FEMA agrees with your information that you are out of the special flood hazard area, you will receive a declaration document indicating that your structure is “REMOVED” from the floodplain.
DO NOT CANCEL YOUR FLOOD INSURANCE JUST YET!
Call your lender and inform him of these developments. Ask if he agrees/concurs. If he does agree, call your insurance agent and cancel your policy and request a refund of your premiums.
If the lender does not agree, you can call your insurance agent and request the “Preferred Risk Policy” which will be less than $300 per year. Escrow the premium. Remember, by Federal statute, the lender has the final say concerning the purchase of flood insurance. FEMA has no authority beyond the flood map review. And, if you have no mortgage, insurance is not required.
Download forms from FEMA:
MT-1 Application Forms
SHOULD YOU HAVE PROBLEMS OR QUESTIONS CALL
James K. Meredith, CFM
NFIP State Coordinator
State of Alabama
401 Adams Avenue
P.O. Drawer 5690
Montgomery, Alabama 36103-5690
Office: (334) 353-0853
Fax: (334) 242-0776
BlackBerry: (334) 590-4756