Besides the limits and deductible you choose, the following factors will determine your flood policy rates:
1) whether your community is participating in the Emergency Program or the Regular Program (most are in the Regular Program);
2) the location of your home on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM);
3) when your home was built—whether before or after the first FIRM was drawn;
4) the distance (in ± feet) between the lowest floor of your home and the Base Flood Elevation (BFE); and
5) the type of home (e.g., one or two floors, split level, basement, etc.).
Flood risk information presented on FIRMs is based on historic, meteorologic, hydrologic and hydraulic data, as well as open-space conditions, flood control works and development. Using information gathered in engineering studies, the Federal Emergency Management Agency designates Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) on the FIRM, which are those areas subject to inundation by a flood that has a 1 percent or greater chance of being equaled or exceeded during any given year. This type of flood is referred to as a base flood. A base flood has a 26 percent chance of occurring during a 30-year period—the length of many mortgages. If your home is located in a SFHA (consisting of rating zones A and V), your rates will be higher than those in low-to-moderate hazard areas (consisting of rating zones B, C and X). FIRMS are in the process of being revised by FEMA, particularly in communities located in coastal areas. If the FIRM changes in your community, the rates you pay in the future may be affected.