Importance of Knowing Whether You are in a Flood Zone

Determining whether a house is in a flood zone prior to closing is an essential step in the home buying process. Flood insurance is an important first step in protecting your financial investment.

Over the life of a 30-year loan, a home in a high-risk area (known as a Special Flood Hazard Area) has about a 3 times greater chance of having a flood than having a fire. In accordance with the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 and the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994, flood insurance is required for all structures located in a high-risk area, that carry a home mortgage loan backed by a federally-regulated lender or servicer. The risk can vary dramatically from neighborhood to neighborhood and within a neighborhood. Remember, flood insurance is available for all properties, regardless of risk designation, and that homeowners insurance does not typically protect you from flood damage. Learn more by visiting the National Flood Insurance Program consumer website.

Did you know?

  • Most Homeowner's insurance does not cover flood damage.
  • There typically is a 30-day wait after the purchase of a flood insurance policy before it becomes effective.
  • Properties located in low- or moderate- risk flood zones ( marked B, C, X or shaded X on the flood maps ) can and still do flood; but property owners may be eligible to purchase a flood insurance policy, a Preferred Risk Policy, at reduced premiums.
  • Historically, 20-25% of all flood claims paid out are on properties located outside of high risk areas, known as Special Flood Hazard Areas ( SFHAs ).
  • The higher up a property owner raises their structure above the base flood elevation in high risk areas ( to a certain limit ), the lower their insurance premiums will be. A property owner in a high risk area could save as much as 50% in premium payments by building just 2-3 feet above the base flood elevation.

Check to determine whether your prospective property is in a flood zone or click on the banner below.