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San Mateo FEMA Map info


									Disclosure Alert: San Mateo County
New FEMA Flood Maps Issued
Effective October 16, 2012

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has issued revised Flood Insurance Rate Maps
(FIRMs) for San Mateo County that become effective on Tuesday, October 16, 2012. These maps show
areas that are considered to be in a floodplain, and therefore may require homeowners to obtain flood
insurance. Flood zone disclosure is a statutory requirement in California real estate transactions.

This alert is to update our real estate customers about flood map changes that may affect your clients,
insurance requirements which these changes may trigger, and opportunities that may benefit your clients
with lowered flood insurance costs. (To view the new maps, see instructions at bottom.)

New Zone Boundaries & Insurance Requirements
Flood insurance is generally required for federally-backed mortgages on properties within a "Special
Flood Hazard Area", also called a "100-year flood" zone. The new FEMA maps will change flood zones in
San Mateo County.

In most areas of the county, FEMA flood
maps have not been updated for over 15
years. The revised maps that become
effective on October 16, 2012, show that
flood risk has been substantially reduced,
especially in Bay-front communities, through
recent improvements of flood-protection
dikes and levees.

Approximately 7,900 families in the City of
San Mateo will no longer need to purchase
mandatory flood insurance, according the
City’s Levee Project website, as those
parcels have been removed from the “high
risk” 100-year flood zone. In Foster City, the
land areas remain outside the 100-year
flood zone, while the lagoon will remain as a Special Flood Hazard Area.

In total, approximately 20,000 parcels in the Cities of San Mateo and Foster City, that are outside of the
100-year flood zone on the revised maps, have been reclassified as in zone “X protected by levee.” In
this levee-protected zone flood insurance is not mandatory on federally-backed loans.

In Redwood City, approximately 1,850 parcels in the Redwood Shores community will be partially in both
the 100-year flood zone and the “X protected by levee” zone when the revised map becomes effective. In
its latest update dated January 2011 (see link below), the City noted that levee improvements around
Redwood Shores were fully completed and certification plans were submitted to FEMA. The update
added that the City is “very confident” that Redwood Shores will be classified as protected by levees,
which would remove any requirement for flood insurance. Readers should contact the City for further

Outside of those three cities, the revised maps draw parcels into the “high-risk” 100-year flood zone in
South San Francisco (about 600 parcels), Half Moon Bay (about 40 parcels), and San Carlos (about
10 parcels). The revised maps reclassify other parcels formerly in the “high risk” zone to lower risk zones
in San Carlos (about 185 parcels) and Pacifica (about 42 parcels). Along the County’s Pacific coast, the
existing Special Flood Hazard Area has been extended along the entire shoreline.

¤2012 JCP-LGS                   Page 1 of 3                                  October 8, 2012
Disclosure Alert: San Mateo County
New FEMA Flood Maps Issued

                                  IMPORTANT: These new FEMA maps are
          NOT to be used for assigning flood insurance zone designations before October 16, 2012.

Prospective home buyers may wish to check with their insurance agent to see if the property's flood zone,
and insurance requirements, will be affected by the map changes. To comply with federal law and to
obtain the lowest available rate, where property is drawn into a 100-year flood zone borrowers of
federally-backed mortgages must purchase flood insurance before the new maps become effective on
October 16, 2012. Where a structure is reclassified on the revised map as no longer in a 100-year flood
zone, the mandatory insurance requirement remains in effect until the revised map becomes effective
and policyholders must continue to purchase flood insurance where a policy is due for renewal.

"Grandfathered" Lower Rates May Be Available
In some cases, low-cost flood insurance in a lower-risk zone can be "grandfathered" in place when the
parcel is drawn into a high-risk 100-year flood zone -- IF the policy is purchased BEFORE the effective
date of the flood map. Your clients in this situation may wish to ask their insurance agent if they can buy
the flood insurance before the effective date of the new map and grandfather in the lower premiums.

Insurance Benefits in "Low-risk" Zones
Even though flood insurance is not required outside of the high-risk 100-year flood zone, it still may be a
wise investment. In the lower-risk zones flood insurance is cheaper, yet FEMA notes that one-third of all
flood claims paid last year were for policies in low-risk communities. FEMA adds that, on average, a
home has a 26 percent chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage,
compared to a 9 percent chance of fire.

Options for Your Real Estate Clients

Timely Disclosure -- JCP-LGS (and FANHD) disclosure reports will rely on the revised FEMA flood
maps for hazard determinations as of the date the maps become effective. Our reports will disclose the
"X Protected by Levee" zone if any part of the property is in this zone.

NHD Report Updates -- As an accommodation to our clients, we will update your JCP-LGS report at no
additional charge upon request if your escrow remains open after the maps become effective. To request
a report update, please email after October 16, 2012, to: . (Please
update your escrow billing information at that time.)

Flood Insurance Quote -- If your client needs an insurance quote on short notice to close a deal, please
know that we include a free insurance quote from First American Property & Casualty Insurance
Company with our reports. (Available in nearly all areas of the State.) First American P&C is also an
authorized agent for flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program. For a flood insurance
quote call (877) 713-7556.

Flood Elevation Certificate – It is important to know where a home stands, not only on the flood map
but also relative to the base flood level. The flood elevation certificate helps the owner make an informed
decision about which flood insurance policy to purchase. The property may be eligible for a lower cost
policy. To inquire about obtaining an elevation certificate for a property in a flood zone, contact First
American’s land survey division at 1-877-237-8950 or visit

View the Flood Maps -- Follow these steps to view the flood maps on the FEMA website:

1. Go to
2. In the right margin click the “FEMA Map Service Center” link

¤2012 JCP-LGS                   Page 2 of 3                                  October 8, 2012
Disclosure Alert: San Mateo County
New FEMA Flood Maps Issued
3. Enter the property address in the search form and click the button
4. Click the "View" icon on the next page
5. Use the zoom tool to enlarge the map when it appears (this may take several seconds).

Additional information about the impact of the revised FEMA flood zones on some of the affected
communities is available on the following websites:

City of San Mateo

Foster City

Redwood City (including Redwood Shores)

San Carlos

A list of the FEMA flood zone designations can be seen at this address:

                      Order an Up-to-Date and Accurate Disclosure Report!

  JCP-LGS is the company Californians have grown to respect since we issued the
  first residential hazard disclosure report more than 36 years ago. Our database of digital property
  maps in California now exceeds 10 million parcels.

  We know the exact parcel boundary.
  We know the exact hazard zone boundary if it is officially defined.
  We make the exact "IN" or "NOT IN" determination from those two boundaries.

  This is the highest standard of accuracy and precision in the disclosure industry. It guarantees
  compliance with disclosure laws at all levels of government. It serves all parties in the real estate
  transaction by delivering knowledge, understanding and protection that can be relied upon. Order
  online at or call our Customer Service Desk at 800-748-5233.

¤2012 JCP-LGS                   Page 3 of 3                                 October 8, 2012

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