FEMA has released updated flood risk maps (also referred to as Flood Insurance Rate Maps or FIRMs) for Palm Beach County, Florida that went into effect October 5, 2017.
For Palm Beach County residents and business owners, this means your risk of flooding may have changed; but it also opens opportunities to secure cost-saving flood insurance options—determined by your property’s change in flood risk.
Changes in flood risk—what does this mean for me?
Your property’s flood risk can increase or decrease over time due to changes in weather patterns, new development, or other factors. This prompts FEMA—in cooperation with local communities—to periodically update flood maps to reflect these changes in risk. Palm Beach County communities have been working with FEMA for several years to update local flood risk information—to help you decide how to best protect you and your family from flood losses.
While these flood maps are a helpful tool, it is important to remember that flooding can happen anywhere—even outside of a high-risk flood zone. In fact, about 1 in 4 flood insurance claims come from outside high-risk areas. That is why it’s imperative to have and maintain coverage continuously, even if you’ve been newly identified as no longer in a high-risk flood area. Residents who are no longer in a high-risk area and are now in a moderate- or low-risk flood area (labeled as Zone X on the flood map) can easily convert an existing policy to a lower-cost policy (a “Preferred Risk Policy”) – a policy that protects your home and property starting at less than $200 a year.