Lowest Floor - The lowest floor of the lowest enclosed area (including a basement). An unfinished or flood-resistant enclosure, usable solely for parking of vehicles, building access, or storage in an area other than a basement area, is not considered a building's lowest floor provided that such enclosure is not built so as to render the structure in violation of requirements.


Mandatory Purchase - Under the provisions of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, individuals, businesses, and others buying, building, or improving property located in identified areas of special flood hazards within participating communities are required to purchase flood insurance as a prerequisite for receiving any type of direct or indirect federal financial assistance (e.g., any loan, grant, guaranty, insurance, payment, subsidy, or disaster assistance) when the building or personal property is the subject of or security for such assistance.

Manufactured (Mobile) Home - A structure built on a permanent chassis, transported to its site in one or more sections, and affixed to a permanent foundation. "Manufactured (mobile) home" does not include recreational vehicles.

Mitigation Division - A division under FEMA that manages the NFIP and oversees FEMA’s mitigation programs.

Mobile Home - see entry for Manufactured Home


National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) - A federal program enabling property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance protection against losses from flooding. This insurance is designed to provide an insurance alternative to disaster assistance to meet the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods.

National Flood Insurance Reform Act (NFIRA) - The purpose of the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 is to improve the financial condition of the NFIP and reduce federal expenditures for disaster assistance to flood-damaged properties. The act affects every part of NFIP, insurance, mapping and floodplain management. NFIRA also gives lenders tools with which to enforce requirements for flood insurance coverage mandated under the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973.

Non-Residential - Includes, but is not limited to: small business concerns, churches, schools, farm buildings (including grain bins and silos), pool houses, clubhouses, recreational buildings, mercantile structures, agricultural and industrial structures, warehouses, hotels and motels with normal room rentals for less than 6 months' duration, and nursing homes.

Non-Special Flood Hazard Area (NSFHA) - An area in a low to moderate risk flood zone (Zones B, C, X) that is not in any immediate danger from flooding caused by overflowing rivers or hard rains. However, itÕs important to note that structures within a NSFHA are still at risk.


Other Residential - Hotels and motels where the normal occupancy of a guest is 6 months or more; a tourist home or rooming house which has more than four roomers. A residential building (excluding hotels and motels with normal room rentals for less than 6 months' duration) containing more than four dwelling units. Incidental occupancies such as office, professional private school, or studio occupancy, are permitted if the total area of such incidental occupancies is limited to less than 25 percent of the total floor area within the building.


Participating Community - A community for which the Mitigation Division Administrator has authorized the sale of flood insurance under the NFIP.

Policy - The entire written contract between the insured and the insurer. It includes: the printed policy form, the application and Declarations Page, any endorsement(s) that may be issued, and any renewal certificate indicating that coverage has been instituted for a new policy and new policy term.

Post-FIRM Building - A building for which construction or substantial improvement occurred after December 31, 1974, or on or after the effective date of an initial Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), whichever is later.

Pre-FIRM Building - A building for which construction or substantial improvement occurred on or before December 31, 1974, or before the effective date of an initial Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).

Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) - A policy that offers fixed combinations of building/contents coverage or contents-only coverage at modest, fixed premiums. The PRP is available for property located in B, C, and X zones in Regular Program communities that meet eligibility requirements based on the property's flood loss history.

Probation Surcharge (Premium) - A flat charge that the policyholder must pay on each new or renewal policy issued covering property in a community that the NFIP has placed on probation under the provisions of 44 CFR 59.24.


Regular Program - The final phase of a community's participation in the National Flood Insurance Program. In this phase, a Flood Insurance Rate Map is in effect and full limits of coverage are available under the Act.

Replacement Cost Value (RCV) - The cost to replace property with the same kind of material and construction without deduction for depreciation.

Residential Condominium Building Association Policy (RCBAP) - Policy issued to insure a residential condominium building and all units within the building, provided that the building is located in a Regular Program Community and at least 75 percent of the total floor area is residential.

A car can easily be carried away by just two feet of water.
dotted line
Secure Site for Agents link
Log into the FEMA Agents Website Log into the FEMA Agents Website Register to become an agent
Contact Us | Site Map | Help | NFIP
Last Updated: Monday, 05-Jan-2009, 2:37 PM (EST)

500 C Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20472
Disaster Assistance: (800) 621-FEMA, TTY (800) 462-7585
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
FEMA Home | Contact FEMA | Privacy Policy | Important Notices | FOIA | | DHS