As we welcome the new year of 2023, we also welcome the changing flood industry. One of these changes coming this month is for flood insurance rate maps (FIRM) or simply known as flood maps.

In this blog, we talk about why it's important to know the changes to the communities in Kaufman County, the flood hazard determinations with these new maps, and the good, bad, and ugly changes that this new flood map may bring to residents of Kaufman County in Texas.

Flood Map Updates of January 2023: Kaufman County, Texas

Texas and Floods

Texas is no stranger to floods. If we look back to 2022, we can easily see this ring true as areas like Dallas-Fort Worth experienced one of the deadliest floodings in the state. This was caused by continuous heavy rain that dumped around 15 inches of rain in the area which started on August 21st.

Dallas firefighters responded to 195 high-water incidents across the city of Dallas with 39 rescues being carried out. On the other hand, Fort Worth firefighters responded to 174 rescues and other high-water incidents. All of these in just mere 24 hours.

Flood Map Updates of January 2023: Kaufman County, Texas

Kaufman County, on the other hand, had a similar experience in May of 2022 although not in the same severity. This is when drenching rain flooded Kaufman Co. which caused South Washington Street to be closed temporarily.

As one of the fastest-growing counties in Texas, seeing an 18% boost in population between 2019 and 2021, it's important to be aware of how these events could impact the area and how it changes flood risks for residents.

Flood Map Updates of January 2023: Kaufman County, Texas

So, let's talk about the new flood maps coming to Kaufman Co. and what it means for your flood insurance moving forward. It's important to note that these reports coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be based on their flood insurance study.

Flood Map Updates of January 2023: Kaufman County, Texas

The Good

Let's start off with the good things that we're seeing with this new flood map. We're seeing around 60 properties that will be experiencing an "in to out" movement.

This means that there are around 60 properties that are currently mapped into the special flood hazard areas (SFHA) and they are getting mapped out of it. In simpler terms, this could also mean that these properties are moving out of a high-risk flood zone or some would call this moving into flood zone X.

Now, why is this a good thing? For one, this means that mandatory flood insurance purchases will no longer be required for these properties as low-risk flood zones like flood zone X aren't required to have flood insurance with the property.

Although flood zones no longer impact flood insurance costs especially when it comes to premium rates, you should still have a flood policy ready to cover you from flood damage even if you're in a low-risk zone. This is important to remember especially since at least 25% of flood claims with FEMA come from these low-risk areas.

Flood Map Updates of January 2023: Kaufman County, Texas

Simply put, even low-risk flood zones like flood zone X will still get flooded at some point in time or given the right conditions.

The Bad

Now, let's move to the bad changes which are indicated by an "out to in" movement. As the direct opposite of the good,  this means that we're looking at properties that are going to be moved into a high-risk flood zone when originally they were in a low-risk flood zone. Some would call this "moving into a flood zone" or being mapped into flood zone A.

According to FEMA's new flood map, only 12 properties will be experiencing this movement. This also means that if you experience this out to in movement, you'll be required by the state and your mortgage or bank to get a flood insurance policy with the property as it's moved to a special flood hazard area (SFHA).

Historically, this type of change can mean that you will see an increase in your flood insurance risk and an increase in your premium rates. This is because, with National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) before, flood zones are one of the main basis for premium rates. 

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The Ugly

Lastly, we have the "in to in" movement. This generally indicates that a property that's already in the SFHA will be moved deeper into it. This could mean that you're currently in flood zone A and now you're being moved into flood zone AE. This is expected to impact 1830 properties in Kaufman County when the flood map of January 12th kicks in.

This movement generally also indicates an increase in your risk of flooding the property. This can also mean that you may see some stricter flood insurance requirements and a change in your overall flood risk as well. 

Flood Map Updates of January 2023: Kaufman County, Texas

How To Fight Flood Map Changes

Changing Your Flood Zone

Let's just say you have a property that's mapped into a low-risk flood zone like flood zone X, this doesn't mean that that building will stay in that zone forever. This is especially true as flooding impacts how flood insurance rate maps (FIRM) work.

Sometimes, when a flood insurance rate map update comes to your community, this could mean that you might see your property get moved into a high-risk area like flood zone A or flood zone AE. Having your property or building mapped into a high-risk flood area generally results in a mandatory purchase of flood insurance.

To see your revisions to your community's flood maps, you can CLICK HERE to visit the official website for FEMA flood insurance rate map (FIRM) changes.

Get A Quote

This requirement might come from your mortgage lender or the state law itself such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) standards. But, what if you know that your property shouldn't be in a high-risk flood zone? How do you fight these changes?

This is where what's called a Letter Of Map Amendment (LOMA) comes in to save the day.

Letter Of Map Amendment

A Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) is an official document that's issued by FEMA to process the change of a flood zone designation for a property.

An elevation certificate will show a more accurate representation of your property such as its risks from flood water, base flood elevation, its exact distance from your lowest habitational floor, and other relevant information. A LOMA is achieved after a successful application for a Letter of Map Change (LOMC) thru FEMA's official website.

Get Elevation Certificate

It helps to have the necessary information and documents when applying for a LOMA. One of the helpful supporting documents you can provide is an elevation certification.

Although elevation certificates are no longer required — especially with the recent update to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and Risk Rating 2.0 — this can really help a lot in proving the validity of your request to be mapped out of a high-risk area.



So these are the good, the bad, and the ugly changes coming to Kaufman Co. When it comes to actual flood risks, the reality is that even low-risk flood zones can be flooded too. This also means that getting a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) done won't guarantee that your home no longer has flood risks.

Flood Map Updates of January 2023: Kaufman County, Texas

This is why we still encourage property owners to get flood insurance coverage for their property. A single flood policy will be able to provide building and contents coverage, so both the structure and your personal property inside it will have flood protection.

If you have questions regarding flood zones, flood insurance, or anything flood-related, click below to access our Flood Learning Center to get your answers.

Flood Insurance Guru - Flood Learning Center

Ready to start simplifying your flood insurance? Just follow these three simple steps:

  • Fill out this form — Get A Quote
  • Talk with our flood education specialist.
  • Get back to the important things in your life.

Hurricane Harvey was a painful lesson for property owners, city officials, and FEMA. 85% of homes that were flooded did not have flood insurance because they were in a low risk flood zone and it was not required. Traditionally FEMA has struggled to keep up with flood maps because the demand for constant updating is so high. Local officials and FEMA had gone back and forth for years trying to agree on an updated map but could not before Hurricane Harvey.

As a result thousands of people along the coastline in Texas were hit hard with flood losses, the ability to get reasonable flood insurance in the Houston area, and resources for recovery. As these lessons were learned FEMA is trying to be more proactive in updating the flood insurance rate maps along the Texas coastline. One area that has become a major target is Galveston Texas.

Galveston Texas has been fortunate with its location that it has not experienced a loss like Houston has and FEMA is trying to take preventive measures to make sure this does not happen. So FEMA has sent out its final letter of map determination for Galveston Texas. We are going to talk about the impact that could have and what the options will be.

First of all lets talk about the impact, the new flood insurance maps that are set to go into effect in August of 2019 could impact more than 47% of the population. Not all of this impact will be negative. When flood insurance rate maps are updated it is not always a bad thing since FEMA looks at historical data when updating maps. So if your area does not have a history of flooding then it could be a good thing. This means when the new map is updated your property could be moved out of a high risk flood zone like almost 1400 property owners in Galveston county Texas are expected to experience. So if this happens to you and you have a mortgage then you should get a letter from your mortgage company that flood insurance will no longer be required. Here at The Flood Insurance Guru we always recommend checking these flood zones on a yearly basis. You can verify your flood zone here

Now let's talk about the bad news about these maps where many property owners are placed into high risk flood zones that may have not been there before. You also have property owners that maybe looking at higher premiums because they were moved from a moderate to a high risk flood zones. Roughly 45,000 property owners in Galveston county will be placed in high risk flood zones and an additional 33,000 property owners could be looking at higher premiums because of the risk increasing.

So what exactly does this mean and how will it impact you? Let’s say you have a mortgage on your property then you should receive a letter from your mortgage company. The letter should read something like this. “We were recently notified that your property was placed into a SFHA also known as a special flood hazard area”. So what are your options when this happens? As you can see an event like this could have a major impact on property values because it makes the cost of owning a home to go up, it creates additional headaches having to carry the flood insurance, and then the potential is there to not be able to get the resale value on the home. Now lets talk about the different options out there.

The first option is to contact a flood insurance expert like the FLOOD INSURANCE GURU to look at getting a flood insurance policy with map revision rates. What this does is gives you the preferred rate for the first 12 months and there after the rate would gradually increase each year until it reaches the proper premium level for the risk. This first year rate is generally $525 a year or less. Let's discuss the second option which is a zone change.

A zone change also known as a letter of map amendment or LOMA is when evidence can be shown to FEMA that your flood zone is wrong. Basically the lowest adjacent grade of your home has to show above the base flood elevation in order to get this approved. So where can you look at getting this done. We recommend reaching out to someone like The Flood Insurance Guru who can match you with the right resources to start this process. If this does get approved then a letter is received from FEMA that is sent to the mortgage company stating the property is in a low risk flood zone and that the mandatory requirement for flood insurance should be removed. If you are not lucky enough we recommend looking at the last option which is private flood insurance.

Private flood insurance can be a great option but before we discuss it let's talk about how exactly it is different from the National Flood Insurance Program or NFIP. The NFIP is the federally backed flood insurance program. This program is managed by FEMA, so the rates are controlled by the government as well as the coverages. When searching for flood insurance if you are getting rates through the NFIP they should all be the same but many times they are not because agent knowledge is different when it comes to flood insurance.

So what exactly does the NFIP cover? The NFIP covers residential buildings up to $250,000 and contents up to $100,000. It pays out generally in two situations either more than one property is inundated with surface water or more than two acres is inundated with water. Now that we have an understanding of what NFIP covers lets talk about exactly what private flood insurance is and what it covers.

Private flood insurance is flood insurance that is provided by private insurance carriers and many situations is backed by Lloyds of London. When it comes to rates this program works differently than NFIP. Private insurance carriers can make up their own rates and can choose to turn down certain risks. This allows private companies to properly manage risks. Because of this private flood insurance companies can many times provide rates that are 40-50% less than NFIP. However because of Hurricane Harvey getting private flood insurance in Texas has become much more challenging lately. So it is very important to understand all the options on the table. As a result many people are putting their flood insurance policies with private carriers instead. Now that we understand how the pricing works lets talk about coverages a little bit.

As we mentioned above NFIP provides a max coverage of $250,000 on residential buildings and $100,000 on contents. However private flood insurance companies do not put this limitation on their coverages. Many companies will go into the millions for coverages, this can be a great benefit on higher value homes. Something else that private covers is additional living expenses.

Additional living expenses can provide for temporary housing after a flood, this is important because this is not covered by the NFIP flood insurance policy.

As you can see there can be many difference between an NFIP and a private insurance flood policy when it comes to flood insurance in areas like Galveston Texas and even Corpus Christi Texas.

Galveston Flood Insurance Options