Flood InsuranceFlood maps issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provide information about how likely different areas  of land are to experience flooding. The maps are divided into zones, each represented with a different letter, which represents the relative risk of flooding in that area. Your flood zone determines whether you are obliged to have flood insurance and how much your premiums will cost. Do you know what flood zone your home, or the property you are considering buying, is in? More importantly, do you know what it means? Read on to understand how FEMA defines the different flood zones and what the definition means for your insurance premiums.

High Risk Areas (Flood Zones A and V)

An area labelled A or V on the FEMA flood map is at high risk of flooding. In this context, high risk means that the area has a one-quarter probability of flooding during a 30-year period. If you own a home or business premises in a high-risk (A or V) area, you are legally obliged to purchase flood insurance if you have a mortgage on the property from a federally regulated lender. High risk areas are also known as special flood hazard areas or SFHAs.

Moderate/Low Risk Areas (Flood Zones B, C and X)

Areas marked on the FEMA flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) with a B, C or X are considered at moderate or low risk for flooding. You are not required to purchase a flood insurance policy to cover a property in one of these zones; however, you may choose to do so anyway. Being at a reduced risk of flooding is not a guarantee that your home will never be flooded. Living in a low-risk area also means that you should be able to get a cheaper flood insurance policy if you shop around, as insurers will recognize that their chance of having to pay out for flood damage is reduced. According to FEMA, the average cost of a flood insurance policy is around $600 per year, but you could expect to pay less than that if you live in a low-risk area. The cost of clearing up after a flood can be catastrophic, so flood insurance offers peace of mind by giving protection against financial disaster.

Unknown Risk Areas (Flood Zone D)

The detailed analysis that is required to put a precise figure on the risk of flooding has not been carried out in all areas. Some parts of the flood zone map are labeled D, which represents an unidentified flood risk. If you live in one of these areas, you should consider purchasing flood insurance to protect yourself against flood risk. Remember that floods can occur as a result of snow melt or coastal surges as well as river overflow.
Flood zones are updated to reflect changes in the landscape or new information. It is important to stay up to date with changes in your flood zone. You can find out when a new map will be published for your area by visiting the website FloodSmart.gov.

Visit the Direct Flood Insurance Agency LLC website to find flood insurance information, get an insurance quote and buy an insurance policy instantly. Direct Flood Insurance Agency LLC provides flood insurance for Louisiana, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Tennessee, Kentucky, New Jersey, and New York. When you need us most, we can be there instantly. Remember, floods happen in all 50 states. Are you prepared?
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