NEW 2012 FEMA Flood Maps

FEMA’s New Flood Maps May Mean
Higher Flood Insurance Premiums

Important information on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) new digital flood insurance rate maps (DFIRMs) which integrate the statewide hurricane study will be discussed.

With the adoption of the new DFIRMs for the islands of Maui and Lanai scheduled on September 19, 2012, a property’s flood risk may change and consequently so will the requirement for federally mandated flood insurance, as well as construction standards. Flood insurance protects property owners from the financial devastation caused by floods which includes losses to buildings and their contents. The coverage applies whether the flooding results from heavy or prolonged rains, coastal storm surge, tsunamis, blocked storm drainage systems, levee dam failure, or other causes. Different types of policies are available depending on your flood risk.

If you live in a high-risk area, flood zones A and V, you will need a Standard Policy. Most mortgage lenders will require that you have such a policy before they will approve your loan.

For those outside of the high-risk area, zones X or XS, flood insurance is also available, usually at a lower cost. A Preferred Risk Policy can cover both a home and its contents. While you are not federally mandated to have flood insurance in a low-to-moderate risk area, it does not mean that you will never need it. Large floods often extend beyond the boundaries of high-risk areas and smaller floods occur outside high-risk areas as well. In fact, a quarter of all flood insurance claims come from properties located in low-to-moderate risk areas.

Properties currently within the low-to-moderate flood risk areas may be able to be grandfathered into a lower insurance premium if flood insurance is obtained prior to a property’s re-classification into a higher flood risk. You may log on to to view flood insurance premiums. Please contact your local insurance agent for specific information.

The public may view the new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps (DIRMs) by visiting the Hawai'i Flood Hazard Assessment Tool website,

Should you have any questions, please contact Michele Muir White R(S), ABR, SFR, Coldwell Banker Island Properties (808) 298.8448,