Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How do I get aerial photos?
A. Adding aerial photos to your account is easy! All you have to do is log in, click on the account maintenance icon, (located in the bottom of the search by address screen), and check off Birdseye Geocoding (located just above change user info icon).
Q. What is the source of FloodInsights' Sinkhole Data?
A. FloodInsights' sinkhole information comes from a variety of public sources. This data was collected from a number of government entities and is considered public information.
Q. Does your data account for every sinkhole in the state of Florida?
A. No. We have collected a great deal of information though. This list is not complete and we will continue to add sinkhole data as we find it. However, we do believe that this is the most comprehensive list of sinkhole data for Florida today.
Q. Where does the FEMA flood data come from?
A. FloodInsights leverages a flood data provider who provides accurate and current FEMA regulation revisions. We receive updates monthly to ensure we have the best FEMA flood data available.
Q. Can't I get this data from the FEMA Website?
A. The data on FEMA’s website has a lot of problems. In many cases, it does not have up-to-date information! Some of the flood maps on the FEMA website are over a decade old! FEMA makes 15-18,000 changes in any given year. So if you aren’t using updated information, there is a good chance it’s wrong. If accuracy is an issue, then you probably don’t want to use the FEMA website. Furthermore, the FEMA website does not automatically determine the flood zone for you. You must identify exactly where the subject property is and interpret the map.
Q. Your maps don't look like the paper maps. Why?
A. These are digital copies of the paper maps. They are created using geographic information systems (GIS) technology. Although they are shaded differently, they are EXACT replicas of actual FEMA flood maps. Since these maps are digital, they allow us to do some interesting things, like automatically determining the FEMA flood zone for you! In addition, all of the relevant flood information is returned, including: Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), FEMA Flood Zone, Community Number, Panel Date, etc.
Q. What flood information does FloodInsights provide?
A. FloodInsights provides:
- FEMA information: Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), Community Names, Panel Numbers, Panel Suffixes, Flood Zones and Map Revision Dates.
- Flood Data Service identifiers: Unique codes for areas where FEMA provides no codes.
Q. Most appraisers use forms software. Do you work with any appraisal forms companies?
A. Yes we do! We work with several of the leading appraisal forms companies. With the forms companies we work with, you can automatically generate a flood map from within their software. You don’t even need to type in the address, or cut and paste the map. All of the pertinent information you need will be automatically loaded into your appraisal form! Click here to see a list of the forms companies we work with.
Q. What if the marker showing the subject isn't exactly in the right location?
A. With our patented Birdseye Geocoding, you can move the subject marker to the right location with the click of the mouse. Then you’ll actually see the data update based upon the corrected location. This ensures you’re getting an accurate determination. Click here for more information on how to use the birdseye geocoding.
Q. But I still don't get all the map panel information for some properties, why?
A. These communities or areas with missing panel information are not, for a number of different reasons, "Regular" participants in FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program. Depending on which information field is missing, blank information fields can tell you about a Community’s FEMA status and/or its flood risk.
- No Panel Suffix
- Most of FEMA's earliest maps (Flood Hazard Boundary Maps) were issued without suffixes. Some FHBM maps are still in use today.
- No Panel Number or Suffix and Zone is "X"
- NSFHA - No Special Flood Hazard Area. These are communities that have been surveyed and found to have no risk of flood. FEMA gives them community numbers and Zone X designation. FEMA issues no maps for these NSFHA communities.
- No Panel Number or Suffix and Zone is "N"
- These communities do not participate in FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program and have a Zone "N" designation.
- No Panel Number or Suffix, Community Number contains an "X" and Zone is "Z"
- Unclaimed Areas - Resulting from discrepancies or inconsistencies between community boundaries. When any one community does not claim this area, our data provider identifies these areas with their Special Community Code containing one or more "X" and a Zone "Z" designation.
- No Panel Number, Suffix and the Zone Community Code uniquely contains one or more "X"'s
- FEMA Exempt - Military Bases, National Parks, Indian Reservations, etc. These areas are exempt (i.e. not surveyed, no maps) from FEMA rules. FEMA issues no Community, Panel or Zone designations for these areas. Our data provider identifies these areas with their Special Community Code containing one or more "X" but shows it with a Zone "N" designation.
Q. How do I use the zoom options on the map?
A. On the results page, you have several options for map manipulation: zoom in, zoom out and zoom level. To zoom in and obtain a closer view of your property and the surrounding area, click the Zoom In radio button, and then click on the map. FloodInsights redraws the map at a zoom level half of the previous level. For example, if the original zoom level is 20 miles and Zoom In is clicked on, the resulting level of zoom is at 10 miles. Zooming out is performed in the same manner as zooming in. The zoom level is increased by half. For example, if the originating zoom level is 20 miles and Zoom Out is clicked on, the resulting level of zoom is at 40 miles. You may manually set the zoom level by clicking the Zoom Level radio button and entering a mileage value in the field, then clicking on the map to activate the zoom.
Q. Do you offer a Web Service?
A. Yes we do. If you are a high volume user, and would like to automatically pre-fill your application with FEMA flood data, we have the solution for you. Contact us at 617.737.4444 or Email for more information.
Questions? Contact Customer Service at 617.737.4444 (9:00am - 5:00pm EST) PLEASE HAVE YOUR USERNAME AVAILABLE TO EXPEDITE THE CALL!