Check Carefully When Buying in a Flood Zone

Mailbox in Flood Waters

With the ever changing climate and the amount of rain that many parts of the country seem to be experiencing, floods and flood insurance are on the minds of current homeowners and those new to the home purchase process.

Here are some basics to help you understand flood insurance:

What is a Flood Zone?

A flood zone is land identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as being at risk of flooding. There are different classifications of flood zones, based on how likely the property will be to flood; these range from highly likely, to once every 100 to 500 years.

If the property is determined to be in a flood zone, lenders will require flood insurance when mortgaging it. There are very few insurance companies that offer true flood insurance, which can be very expensive.

If you have a property that is considered to be in a flood zone, you may want to check further. Flood maps will consider the entire property to be in a flood zone, although the home itself may be, for example, high on a hill above the floodwater. The information can be updated through FEMA, but it may take some time.

An agent who sells homeowner’s insurance often has access to FEMA flood maps and is a good resource. FEMA’s website is another.

As well, your lending professional often deals with situations where flood insurance is a factor in home financing, and can also help.

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