Flood Insurance  

Whatcom County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP makes federally-backed flood insurance available for all buildings, whether they are in a floodplain or not. The mandatory purchase requirement applies to all forms of federal or federally-related financial assistance for buildings located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Before a person can receive a loan or other financial assistance from one of the affected agencies or lenders, there must be a check to see if the building is in a SFHA. The SFHA is the base (100-year) floodplain mapped on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). If the building is in a SFHA, the agency or lender is required by law to require the recipient to purchase a flood insurance policy on the building. The mandatory purchase requirement does not affect loans or financial assistance for items that are not covered by the flood insurance policy, such as vehicles, business expenses, landscaping, and vacant lots. While not mandated by law, a lender may require a flood insurance policy as a condition of a loan for a property in any zone on a Flood Insurance Rate Map.