The NFIP administers flood insurance to home owner’s and renters. They are also in charge of mapping flood zones as shown on a community’s flood hazard boundary map or a flood insurance rate map. (FIRM).
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) placed nearly 20,000 communities in America into flood zones. These communities are able to participate in the agency’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which provides flood insurance for home owners and renters.
The premium you have to pay is determined by the level of risk of flooding. For those who live in high risk areas, mortgagors require flood insurance.
To know the flood risk of your property, visit the NFIP online database on flood risk and key in your address. The result would show you the zone you belong to.
The following are some of the different zones as defined by FEMA:
1.Moderate to Low Risk areas. Zones B, C and X.
The communities in this zones are areas that are outside the 1% annual chance floodplain, 1% annual chance of snow sheet-flow flood where average depths are less than 1foot, areas of 1% annual chance of stream flooding where the contributing drainage is less than 1 square mile or areas protected from the 1% annual chance by levees. For those in these areas, flood insurance is not a requirement to qualify for mortgage.
2.The High Risk Areas. The A zones.
Zone A. These are areas with 1% annual chance of flooding and 26% chance of flooding during a 30year mortgage term.
Zones AE and A1 – A30. These are areas with 1% annual chance of flooding and 26% chance of flooding during a 30year mortgage term.
Zone AH. These are areas with 1% annual chance of shallow flooding, usually in the form of a pond of a depth about 1-3 feet. They also have a 26% chance of flooding during a 3o year mortgage term.
This is not by any means a comprehensive list of the zones. You can visit the NFIP online database on flood risk for the full list or await the 2nd part of this article for more information.