Flood Insurance


Only Flood Insurance Covers Floods

There is a 30-day waiting period on new flood insurance policies. 

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

The City of Moorhead participates in the NFIP, making federally backed flood insurance available to property owners.  Lenders are prohibited from issuing mortgages for properties in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA, or the 100-year floodplain) unless the property is covered by flood insurance.

Mandatory Purchase of Flood Insurance 

A flood zone determination of the most current FEMA FIRM is used to determine if a building is located in the SFHA.  If the building is in an SFHA, flood insurance is mandatory as a condition of the loan. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need Flood Insurance?

If your structure is within the SFHA and you have a federally-backed mortgage, you must purchase flood insurance.

Our Interactive Floodplain Map allows you to search for your property on a detailed map showing how the SFHA (100-year floodplain) may affect your property.

Who do I contact to purchase flood insurance?

Your local insurance agent is the best qualified to answer questions about flood insurance.  FEMA has updated the NFIP risk rating methodology called Risk Rating 2.0 Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action | FEMA.gov

FEMA Floodplain Terminology

Flood Map 1 Flood Map 2

Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)

The FIRM is developed by FEMA for floodplain management and insurance purposes. A FIRM will generally show base flood elevations (BFE), flood zones, and floodplain boundaries.


The channel of a river or other watercourse and a portion of the adjacent floodplain that must remain open (free of obstruction) to permit passage of the base flood without cumulatively increasing the water surface elevation more than a designated height.

Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)

The SFHA is an area having 1% annual chance of flooding. This includes Zone AE in the City of Moorhead, and is also known as the 100-year floodplain.


Any land area susceptible to being inundated by flood water from any source.

  • 100-year floodplain – (Zone AE) 1% annual chance of flooding. Statistically, this area has a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage even though the annual chance of flooding is 1%.
  • 500-year floodplain – (Zone X) 0.2% chance of flooding. Structures in this zone are not required to purchase flood insurance.

Base Flood Elevation (BFE)

BFE is synonymous with the 100-year flood stage

  • Elevation of surface water from a flood that has a 1% chance of equaling or exceeding that level in any given year
  • BFE is shown on the FIRM

Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA)

  • An official amendment to the effective FIRM that a property is not located in a SFHA
  • A LOMA can only be issued by FEMA
  • A LOMA does not change the official FIRM

Letter of Map Revision (LOMR)

  • An official amendment to the effective FIRM
  • A LOMR can only be issued by FEMA
  • The LOMR can modify flood zones, delineations, and elevations
  • A LOMR does not change the official FIRM

How can I change or correct a FIRM?

FEMA has established administrative procedures for correcting the effective FIRM based on new or revised scientific or technical data. These changes are implemented with written documents and are not depicted on the FIRM.

If a property owner thinks their property has been inadvertently mapped into the SFHA, you may submit a request to FEMA for a Letter of Map Change.

Elevation Certificates

The City maintains elevation certificates for some properties. Please contact floodplain staff or call 218.299.5386 for further assistance.

Community Rating System (CRS)

The NFIP's Community Rating System (CRS) recognizes community efforts beyond the minimum standards by reducing flood insurance premiums for the community's property owners. The City participates in the CRS program and is currently qualified as a class 5 community.


Email Floodplain staff or call 218.299.5386.