When making or extending a property loan (including a home equity loan), lenders are required to make a determination (called a Standard Flood Hazard Determination) as to whether or not the building is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). All homeowners in Special Flood Hazards Areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to buy flood insurance.
Letter of Determination
If a person feels that a lender's determination incorrectly places the property in the SFHA, he or she may request a Letter of Determination from FEMA. This must be submitted within 45 days of the determination. For more information and the form you must fill out to request a determination (PDF).
For more information on flood insurance talk with your insurance agent or the National Flood Insurance Program 800-638-6620.
Even if you are not required to carry flood insurance you may wish to do so to ensure that you are covered in case of flood damage. Renters may wish to buy coverage for their contents.