In recent years, the U.S. has seen some dramatic weather events. Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc in the city of New Orleans in 2005. And Hurricane Harvey in 2017 was the biggest rain event in recorded U.S. history.
These events may well have you asking the question, is my house in a flood zone? And if it is, what should I do about it? Read on to find out more about how you can find out if you’re living in a flood zone and the steps you can take to protect your home and family from flood damage.
Is My House in a Flood Zone?
Naturally, this is one of the first questions people want to know the answer to when thinking about the risk of flooding. Most high-risk flood areas are near a large body of water, but there are other ways you can check the risk of flooding for your property.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides an online facility to check your home’s flood hazard status. You simply enter your postcode into the Map Service Center and you can find out the risk zone of your property.
The lowest risk zones are B, X, and C, while zones A and V are the highest. It’s worth remembering that these maps are updated annually, so you should check them regularly.
Flood zones can change depending on recent changes in weather patterns and also whether there have been any recent building developments that could affect the flow of excess water.
Do I Need Flood Insurance?
If you live in a high-risk area, it’s very likely that holding a flood insurance policy will be a condition of your mortgage. But if your house is in a low-risk area, do you still need flood insurance?
There’s no such thing as “no-risk” when it comes to flooding. 25% of flood damage claims come from areas that are not high risk. The cost of flood damage can be extremely high, so it’s worth considering insuring your property against flooding even if you’re in a low-risk area.
It is possible to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. However, a local insurance broker such as Better Flood will be able to provide you with a more flexible policy.
What About Selling My House?
Let’s be honest—if your home is in a high-risk flood area, then its desirability to buyers is likely to be reduced. However, in some locations, this will apply to every property in the area, so the differential between houses will be lower. You could consider offering to discount the cost of flood insurance from the purchase price, as an incentive to buyers.
While in some states it’s not required to disclose flood risks to potential buyers, it’s always best to be transparent about the risks you’re aware of. Don’t forget that it’s easy for buyers to find out for themselves, and you’ll build trust if you’re upfront about it and discuss any issues openly.
Protecting Your Home and Possessions from Flooding
Now you’re fully equipped to answer the question, is my house in a flood zone? And you’re also more informed as to how this might affect you as a homeowner.
For more interesting articles on a wide variety of subjects, make sure you explore the rest of the blog!