Flood Zone Determination

Flood Zone Determination & Certification Services

We complete Flood Zone Determination Request by providing the necessary flood information of the address. This is done by determining the location of the property on the FEMA. (FEMA has defined according to different levels of flood risk. These zones are described on a community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Hazard Boundary Map. Each zone reflects the severity of Flood in their respective areas or zones.


Flood Insurance Risk Zones means zone designations on Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM) and “Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that indicate the magnitude of the flood hazard in specific areas of a community. Following are the zone definitions:

  • Zone A: Special flood hazard areas inundated by the 100-year flood; base flood elevations are not determined
  • Zone A1-30 and Zone AE: Special flood hazard areas inundated by the 100-year flood; base flood elevations are determined
  • Zone AO: Special flood hazard areas inundated by the 100-year flood; with flood depths of 1 to 3 feet (usually sheet flow on sloping terrain); average depths determined
  • Zone AH: Special flood hazard areas inundated by the 100-year flood; flood depths of 1 to 3 feet (usually areas of ponding); base flood elevations are determined
  • Zone A99: Special flood hazard areas inundated by the 100-year flood to be protected from the 100-year flood by a Federal flood protection system under construction; no base flood elevations are determined
  • Zone B and Zone X (shaded): Areas of 500-year flood; areas subject to the 100-year flood with average depths of less than 1 foot or with contributing drainage area less than 1 square mile; and areas protected by levees from the base flood
  • Zone C and Zone X (un-shaded): Areas determined to be outside the 500-year floodplain
  • Zone D: Are usually undetermined risks

Life Of Loan (LOL) Flood Zone

LOLs are processed to ensure continued compliance throughout the life of a loan. A LOL Update is only processed for those who have ordered Life of Loan Servicing. Searching history for orders with LOL Servicing, and re-checking the addresses previously submitted in the affected community is done to ensure that the flood insurance requirements have not changed when a New or revised Flood insurance Rate Map is processed. FEMA releases the new maps, called the “effective date”, we run a query on the entire LOL to determine which previously submitted addresses located requires a LOL Update. These addresses are compiled and remapped to update the new map parcel number and new parcel date, and to make sure that the community name, participation status, and flood zone information is accurate.

Disputed Flood Zone Determination Requests

It is not uncommon for other parties, such as borrowers, surveyors, community officials, realtors, insurance agents, builders, or appraisers to have differing opinions about a property’s flood zone. This can occur for a variety of reasons: (a) Reliance on information other than the Flood Insurance Rate Map (b) Historical information (c) Updated information not reflected on the flood map, (d) Different interpretations of the flood map or (e) Resistance to paying flood insurance cost.

We verify the information being disputed on completed Flood Zone Determination by determining the location of the property on the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map referring FEMA Websites and providing the Parcel Information. Typically, it is completed within 4 Hours.


As per the client request, our research team prepares the exhibits showing the property location with firmitted FEMA FIRM panel using or robust application supporting aerial map and GIS map.

Borrower Contact Information Research

The process comprises researching the borrowers contact information through certain websites and keying appropriate information on the application.

PRP (Preferred Risk Policy) Determination

A Preferred Risk Policy, or PRP, is a low-cost policy available to residential and non-residential buildings and its contents are based on preferred rates for qualified structures in moderate-to-low risk areas. Below are the exclusions:

  • The PRP is not available in Special Flood Hazard Areas or in Emergency Program communities
  • Other residential properties are not eligible for building coverage
  • Contents located entirely in a basement are not eligible for contents-only coverage
  • However, contents located entirely in an enclosure are eligible

Grandfathered Flood Zone Determinations

To identify policyholders who have built property in compliance with the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) and maintained continuous coverage, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) introduced “Grandfather Rules.” These rules allow such policyholders to benefit in the rating for that building. The historical flood hazard information comes bundled with an exhibit of the subject property’s location on the prior FIRM in effect, formatted for direct submission to FEMA for consideration of insurance premium discounts. These determinations are always completed manually by our map.

Portfolio Determination

Analyze the portfolio batches using FEMA map information, Flood Zone, BFE, NFIP status and entry date, Census Tract, LOMC and CoBRA (Coastal Barrier Resources Act) effective dates, etc.

LOMA Case Processing

If the lot or building site is on natural ground that is higher than the Base Flood Elevation shown on the FIRM, then a request Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) is initiated. A surveyor determines the elevation of the ground next to your building and completes an Elevation Certificate. If the ground is higher than the Base Flood Elevation, then FEMA will issue a LOMA. With a LOMA, your lender may choose to not require flood insurance. A LOMR-F is submitted for properties on which fill has been placed to raise the structure or lot to or above the 1% annual chance flood elevation.

Flood Calling

Our Research team calls for information pertaining to Planning and Zoning maps, appraisals, flood plain management, etc. We extract information like APN number, Legal Information, metes and bounds, tax map, Plat map, etc to expedite the process of Flood to meet the timelines and render excellent service levels.

Cost of Flood Insurance

There is no charge for a LOMA as it is based on natural conditions and corrects the FEMA map. A LOMR-F is submitted for properties on which fill has been placed to raise the structure or lot to or above the 1% annual chance flood elevation. The participating community must also determine that the land and any existing or proposed structures to be removed from the SFHA are “reasonably safe from flooding”. To remove the entire lot and structure, both the lowest point on the lot and the lowest floor of the structure must be at or above the 1% annual chance flood elevation.

Visionet Services – Flood

Our services are executed by skilled competency resources to maintain the timelines with agreed quality parameters. Specific assurance is laid down by the service agreement or contract between Visionet and client and may vary based on products.

Basic Flood Zone Determination

  • Key details on the property including community name and number, panel number, suffix, and date
  • A notice to the borrower for all properties in and out of a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)
  • Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA) data

Special Properties Determination

  • Special Properties Determination is a unique product specifically developed for commercial and construction lending

Portfolio Services

  • udit of a lender’s portfolio of existing loans
  • Flood certification on every loan

Life Of Loan Determination

  • Tracking flood hazard status for the term of the loan
  • Monitoring of FEMA flood map revisions and NFIP) community participation status changes
  • Notification of all future FEMA map changes affecting flood insurance requirements
  • A notice to the borrower for all properties in and out of a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)

Census Tract Data

  • Available on all certifications
  • State and County FIPS code
  • Tract and Block Group Codes
  • Processing available on loans for which a flood certification has not been ordered


Using the LOMA/R/C and the update provided by FEMA FIRM, relevant changes are made in the application.


Additional Resources



Challenges in meeting the GSE mandate for uniform closing dataset (UCD) delivery
Date: September 20th, 2016 02:00 PM EST

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