When you review an Elevation Certificate and the Lowest Adjacent Grade (C.2.f on the form) is higher than the Base Flood Elevation (BFE; B.9 on the form) the probability is strong that the property address may qualify for a LOMC (Letter of Map Change).
In many instances, obtaining a LOMC will benefit your clients. While we certainly recommend that all property owners maintain flood insurance coverage, if the policy was originally purchased to satisfy lender requirements, and a LOMC or Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) is granted, the insured may submit a copy of the LOMC/LOMA to the lender and request written approval to cancel the policy.
However, if the lowest floor elevation is significantly higher than the BFE, and the insured plans to continue to purchase coverage through the NFIP. or they plan to sell the property and a future owner wants to purchase coverage, a standard elevation rated policy may cost less than a Preferred Risk Policy (PRP). Before pursuing a LOMC, a cost analysis should be completed.
FEMA now offers an online tool for homeowners to request LOMCs: http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-flood-hazard-mapping/change-flood-zone-designation-online-letter.
There are different types of LOMCs. A Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) may be issued when a structure is naturally elevated (not elevated on fill dirt) and was inadvertently shown in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) on the current Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). A Letter of Map Revision Based on Fill (LOMR-F) may be issued for properties wherein fill was placed to elevate the lot above the floodplain. The LOMC process may take 60-90 days for the final letter if no additional information is requested.
Another option available is an eLOMAs. An eLOMA is an electronic Letter of Map Amendment. This document is the same as a LOMA (naturally elevated structure) but is generated by licensed surveyors, engineers, or other Licensed Professionals within minutes. The surveyor that completed the elevation certificate may be able to file for an eLOMA. There is usually a charge for this service. The documentation that is required for an eLOMA is a copy of the elevation certificate, a copy of the deed to the property which includes the legal description with the recorders stamp on it, and a statement that the building is not elevated on fill dirt.
Please do not hesitate to contact our mapping specialist at 406.756.4990 if you have questions regarding these processes.