Floods?

While flooding is a possibility in Central Florida, most floods are experienced NOT by waterfront homes, but rather in areas where the drainage system is overtasked by a massive rain storm.

Many waterfront home buyers will find that they need Flood Insurance in order to obtain financing on their new waterfront home.  Your regular homeowner’s insurance does NOT cover flooding.

When floods do occur on your waterfront property, it is usually a slow rise of the water level that you see coming gradually and you have advanced notice and time to prepare, including using sandbags around your home.

When you buy your waterfront dream home, your lender will require what is called a “Life of Loan Flood Certification.”  This means they will check the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Association) Flood Maps to determine if your new waterfront home is in a floodzone or not.  They will also check periodically to see if the flood maps have changed as they affect your property.

If your property IS determined to be in a flood zone, your lender will require that you carry flood insurance.  Your rate will be determined partially by how high your home sits above sea level.  This is determined by your surveyor with what’s called an “Elevation Certificate.”  If you don’t have an elevation certificate done, then your insurance company will set your rate based on a worst-case-scenario, so it’s probably a good idea to have one done and it will be less expensive if you have it done while the surveyor is already there instead of requiring a separate trip.

If your property is determined to NOT be in a flood zone, you still have the option of purchasing flood coverage if you would like the extra protection, since your regular insurance policy doesn’t cover flooding or rising water.

*NOTE* If you pay cash for a home or you’ve paid off your mortgage, flood insurance is not required.

The FEMA flood zones are as follows:

                                               Moderate to Low Risk Areas
    Zone           Description
  B and X   Area of moderate flood hazard, usually the area between the limits of the 100-year and 500-year floods. B Zones are also used to designate base floodplains of lesser hazards, such as areas protected by levees from 100-year flood, or shallow flooding areas with average depths of less than one foot or drainage areas less than 1 square mile. 
 C and X   Area of minimal flood hazard, usually depicted on FIRMs as above the 500-year flood level. Zone C may have ponding and local drainage problems that don’t warrant a detailed study or designation as base floodplain. Zone X is the area determined to be outside the 500-year flood and protected by levee from 100-year flood. 
                                                    High Risk Areas
     Zone           Description
      A  Areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding and a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. Because detailed analyses are not performed for such areas; no depths or base flood elevations are shown within these zones. 
     AE  The base floodplain where base flood elevations are provided. AE Zones are now used on new format FIRMs instead of A1-A30 Zones. 
   A1-30  These are known as numbered A Zones (e.g., A7 or A14). This is the base floodplain where the FIRM shows a BFE (old format). 
     AH  Areas with a 1% annual chance of shallow flooding, usually in the form of a pond, with an average depth ranging from 1 to 3 feet. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. Base flood elevations derived from detailed analyses are shown at selected intervals within these zones. 
     AO  River or stream flood hazard areas and areas with a 1% or greater chance of shallow flooding each year, usually in the form of sheet flow, with an average depth ranging from 1 to 3 feet. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. Average flood depths derived from detailed analyses are shown within these zones.
     AR  Areas with a temporarily increased flood risk due to the building or restoration of a flood control system (such as a levee or a dam). Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements will apply, but rates will not exceed the rates for unnumbered A zones if the structure is built or restored in compliance with Zone AR floodplain management regulations. 
     A99  Areas with a 1% annual chance of flooding that will be protected by a Federal flood control system where construction has reached specified legal requirements. No depths or base flood elevations are shown within these zones. 
                                                 High Risk Coastal Areas
     Zone           Description
       V  Coastal areas with a 1% or greater chance of flooding and an additional hazard associated with storm waves. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. No base flood elevations are shown within these zones. 
    VE, V1-       30  Coastal areas with a 1% or greater chance of flooding and an additional hazard associated with storm waves. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage. Base flood elevations derived from detailed analyses are shown at selected intervals within these zones. 
                                            Undetermined Risk Areas
    Zone           Description
       D  Areas with possible but undetermined flood hazards. No flood hazard analysis has been conducted. Flood insurance rates are commensurate with the uncertainty of the flood risk.