Upgrades to county flood maps in U.S. have prompted lending institutions to require many of their customers to purchase flood insurance for the first time. Homeowners contend the added cost of such insurance is the only thing rising that threatens their well-being. The reason more people are being required to purchase flood insurance is flood maps, which indicate the areas of town that could see dangerously high water levels, were recently modified as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) flood map modernization program.
The goal of the program is to create a more accurate digital product that will improve floodplain management across the country. One of the byproducts of the program is lending institutions have easy access to the detailed digital data and, in the process of updating their own information, have found the delineation of the flood zone more clear. Thus, more homeowners who previously did not have flood insurance are now being required to. Though the current updates have been limited to highly populated areas throughout the country, the data is expected to be updated nationwide by 2009.