Floods are a constant threat that homeowners must take seriously to prevent catastrophe and loss. A staggering 14.6 million homes in the United States are considered at risk for a home flood, and that risk is much higher if your home is located in a flood zone. Doing your due diligence when shopping for a home in a flood zone is crucial to your safety and financial health.
Checking a flood zone map will give you a greater perspective of the risks you’ll face, but the process of understanding the risk of flood zones continues. The FEMA flood zone indicates that you should consider flood insurance for your property and investment.
Fortunately for your family, you’ve uncovered this in-depth guide into the ways you can find out if your home is in a flood zone and the next steps to take. Continue reading to learn more about flood zones today!
Do You Live in a Flood Zone?
Accessing the FEMA flood maps is the best way to determine if your new home is located in a flood zone. Theoretically, every homeowner lives in a flood zone since flooding can happen anywhere with prolonged rain and precipitation. All fifty states in the US experience some level of flooding, so it’s critical to stay prepared and take proper precautions.
Look up your home’s address on the flood maps and determine if your home is at a higher risk for flooding than other homes. FEMA’s flood zone maps show each community and its chance for flooding and catastrophe. The process requires you to enter your home’s address into the map to access a record of floods in your area.
It’s also possible to access flood maps at local government offices in your area. Courthouses and libraries are excellent resources to use when assessing the risk of flooding for your new home to save money on flood insurance.
Reading a Flood Zone Map
The FEMA flood zone map gives you direct data to determine if your home faces a high flood risk. Areas with a lower risk of flooding are categorized as “Areas of Minimal Flood Hazard,” meaning your home is relatively safe from flooding issues. Areas with high flooding risks are labeled “Special Flood Hazard Areas.”
The FEMA map is the best resource to use if you’re worried about flooding for your home. It will label specific flood zones using different letters from the English alphabet. High-risk areas are designated with the letter A or V, and moderate to low-risk areas use the letters B, X, or C to display risk.
Do You Need Flood Insurance?
The million-dollar question for many homeowners is whether they need flood insurance. It can seem like an extra and unnecessary monthly cost until you face a flood and tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Some mortgage lenders require homeowners to carry flood insurance if they live in an area with a higher risk.
It’s vital to remember that a homeowner’s policy does not protect your home against flooding. It’s wise to purchase a flood insurance policy even if you don’t think you’ll need it. Many flood claims come from homeowners who avoid taking out a flood insurance policy.
Flood maps change over time, so keeping up with your home’s flood risk is critical. Maintaining contact with your insurance agent is a sure way to find out about these changes and weigh your options for flood coverage.
Wildfires and commercial development alter how water drains from the land surrounding your home. These significant changes to the land could put your house and family in harm’s way, and you could risk losing everything.
Benefits of Flood Insurance
Now that you know how to find out if your home is in a flood zone, it’s essential to understand the benefits of purchasing flood insurance. Whether you live in a high-risk area or not is a shrewd investment. You can save big bucks by taking the simple step of adding this coverage to your existing homeowner’s policy.
Here’s a deeper dive into the perks of having flood insurance.
Floods Are Expensive
If you’ve never been involved in a flood, it’s easy to write off the damage and expenses as minimal. The reality is that floods are expensive and time-consuming to recover from. One inch of flooding in your home can cause over $25,000 in damage to the property.
A flash flood with water levels above 10 feet can cause damage reaching hundreds of thousands of dollars. A small monthly fee for flood insurance is a small price for peace of mind.
No Location is Safe
Flooding can happen anywhere and anytime; a lack of preparation and foresight can leave you with nothing. Twenty percent of flood claims occur in areas with low to moderate flooding risk. Don’t risk losing your home and possessions due to a lack of flood insurance based on your reading of the geography.
Floods Are More Common
Another critical benefit of flood insurance is the peace of mind you’ll gain from protection as flooding increases. Land development and climate change are resulting in increasing levels of flooding nationwide. The East Coast and Gulf Coast are especially at risk for increased flooding in the future.
Don’t leave yourself with no option for financial assistance in the event of a flood. Whether or not you live in a flood zone, you can protect your family, finances, and investment with a flood insurance policy for your home.
Learn the Risks of a Flood Zone Today
Living in a flood zone isn’t the end of the world, but learning how to read a flood zone map to determine your risk and consider a flood insurance policy is crucial. Low and moderate-risk zones should still consider coverage, as 20 percent of claims come from these regions. Don’t risk losing everything when a single inch of flooding causes $25,000 in damage to your home.
Are you ready to protect your family and home from flooding? Explore our finance and business content for more keen insights into your future!