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Half In. Half Out.

Check out what makes a great flood zone solution.

Flood zone determination is critical and there are considerable differences between vendors. Consumers generally don’t want to pay flood insurance when they aren’t required to, and lenders want appropriate risk mitigation and monitoring. Couple these opposing interests with the rising threat of natural disasters -- and the importance of accurate flood zone determinations quickly becomes apparent.

Over one million people were displaced from their gulf coast homes by impacts of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In New Jersey alone, 2012’s Hurricane Sandy caused $29.4 billion in damage. US coastal communities, including river and lake areas, are increasingly prone to flooding.

According to Zillow, 20,000 homes built in the past decade are at significant risk of chronic coastal flooding by 2050.

Models predict that these Hundred Year storms will occur more frequently. With increasingly powerful storm surges, FEMA maps are updated often, sometimes daily. Interpretation and rapid incorporation of FEMA data is integral for an accurate and automated flood zone solution.

Some properties are easily determined to be in a flood zone, but not all. As noted in the image below, how is a flood insurance recommendation applied when half of the property - or part of a detached building - is in a flood zone? Obviously, flood zones do not follow property lines or state lines, they follow geography, especially elevation.

Lenders will often perform flood zone determination pilots with differing vendors. There are differences that quickly become apparent between providers, such as the frequency that FEMA flood zone data is updated by the vendor and their interpretation of the data. Service 1st has partnered with the experienced ServiceLink team and we’re proud to offer the advantages of this relationship, including;

  • Aerial views of subject property areas with exact FEMA flood zone lines to evidence structures that are inside and outside flood zones.

  • For structures partially within a flood zone, flood insurance may not be required for the entire property.

  • A flood certificate can be split. For example, if the primary structure is outside the flood zone, but a detached garage is within, flood zone insurance is needed for the detached garage only.

  • Life of Loan tracking on the property. With maps frequently changing, appropriate insurance coverage is extremely important.

As noted above, Service 1st seeks and retains “best in breed” partners within our vendor panel for applicable mortgage origination and servicing solutions. Please take a moment today and reach out to one of our friendly experts to easily test our result-driven loan origination solutions and verification services.


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