The Town of Hull participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which makes federally backed flood insurance available for all eligible buildings, whether they are in a floodplain or not. Flood insurance covers direct losses caused by surface flooding, including oceans storms and local drainage problems.
The NFIP insures buildings with two types of coverage: building and contents. Building coverage is for walls, floors, insulation, furnace and other items permanently attached to the structure. Contents coverage may be purchased separately, if the contents are in an insurable building.
Federal laws make the purchase of flood insurance mandatory for federally backed mortgages on buildings located in Special Hazard Flood Areas (SFHAs). They also affect all forms of Federal or Federally related financial assistance for buildings located in SFHAs. The SFHA is the base (100-year) floodplain mapped on the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). Any building located in a zone that begins with the letter "A" or "V" is in a SFHA.
The requirement applies to secured mortgage loans from such financial institutions, such as commercial lenders, savings and loan associations, savings banks, and credit unions that are regulated, supervised, or insured by Federal agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of Thrift Supervision. It also applies to all mortgage loans purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in the secondary mortgage market.
Federal financial assistance programs affected by the laws include loans and grants from agencies such as the Department of Veterans Affairs, Farmers Home Administration, Federal Housing Administration, Small Business Administration, and the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Lenders are required to complete a Standard Flood Hazard Determination (SFHD) form whenever they make, increase, extend, or renew a mortgage, home equity, home improvement, commercial, or farm credit loan to determine if the building is in an SFHA. It is the Federal agency's or the lender's responsibility to check the current FIRM to determine if the building is in an SFHA. The FIRMs are available for review on the second floor of Hull Town Hall.
If the building is in a SFHA, the Federal agency or lender is required by law to require the recipient to purchase a flood insurance policy on the building. Federal regulations require building coverage equal to the amount of the loan (excluding appraised value of the land) or the maximum amount of insurance available from the NFIP, whichever is less. The maximum amount available for a single-family home is $250,000. Government sponsored enterprises such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae typically have stricter requirements.
The mandatory purchase requirement does not affect loans or financial assistance for items that are not covered by a flood insurance policy, such as vehicles, business expenses, landscaping, and vacant lots. It does not affect loans for buildings that are not in an SFHA even though a portion of the lot may be. While not mandated by law, a lender may require a flood insurance policy, as a condition of a loan, for a property in any zone on a FIRM.
If a person feels that a SFHD form incorrectly places the property in the SFHA, he or she may request a Letter of Determination Review from FEMA. This must be submitted within 45 days of the determination. More information can be found here.
To find your property's designation go to the following link:
Some residents have purchased flood insurance because it was required by the bank when they got a mortgage or home improvement loan. Usually these policies only cover a building's structure and not the contents. Consider if a flood may damage the furniture or other contents of the home, and specifically ask your insurance agent about "contents coverage." This information can be helpful for renters who want to insure contents only.
Talk to an insurance agent about the best option for insuring your property. To find an agent near you, go to:
For general information regarding flood insurance, refer to:
If you are outside of the SFHA, you may be eligible for a low cost Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) The PRP would lock you into lower rates for an extended period of time if your property is ever mapped into the floodplain in the future. For additional information, go to:
- Lower Cost Rating Option for Properties Newly Mapped as High Risk
- FEMA Premiums for Freeboard Examples (2011)
The Town of Hull has undertaken various activities developed by FEMA (under the Community Rating System program) to lower flood insurance premiums for Town residents. Hull's proactive flood control measures and projects have currently earned a 10% reduction for all flood insurance premiums in the Town. Therefore, when you purchase or renew the Flood Insurance Policy, make sure to confirm you are receiving the 10% deduction in premium.