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Why won’t the lender take my surveyor’s word?

The Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) and Flood Hazard Boundary Maps (FHBM) portray the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), or what is more commonly known as the gray shaded area, within which the purchase of flood insurance is required as a condition for granting a mortgage from a federally-backed or federally-regulated lending institution. The lender or insurance agent must use the boundaries of the SFHAs shown on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps to determine if mandatory flood insurance applies. The area between the flooding source and the flood hazard boundary is commonly shaded gray. Thus, even though a site survey or an elevation certificate indicates the homesite is above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) and is technically outside the floodplain if the homesite is within the blue or gray shaded area (the SFHA) on the map, the bank will say flood insurance is required.