What is Flood Zone AH?
Flood Zone AH is a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), meaning homes in this area that have a federally backed mortgage are required to have flood insurance.
This flood zone has a 1% risk of annual flooding with a 26% risk of experiencing a flood during a 30-year mortgage. Floods in Zone AH tend to be shallow with an average depth ranging from one to three feet.
What is a base flood elevation in Flood Zone AH?
Parts of Flood Zone AH have base flood elevations (BFEs). That’s the level floodwaters have a 1% chance of meeting or exceeding in a year that help homeowners better prepare their homes for a flood. This includes building codes that anticipate flooding issues, such as:
- Building new homes so the lowest level of the house is at or above the BFE.
- Moving electrical, plumbing, and heating systems above the BFE.
- Making sure any enclosed space below the BFE in an existing house is uninhabited.
Are homes in Flood Zone AH required to have flood insurance?
Flood Zone AH is considered a high-risk zone, so homeowners in it are required to have flood insurance. Essentially, that means federally backed or regulated lenders can only offer loans to people with flood insurance.
Lenders are very aware of not only the risk of flood, but also the damage that even an inch of water can cause. According to FEMA, you can see $25,000 in damages from just one inch of water. Plus, as climate change brings more floods, lenders are very diligent about protecting their investment.
How much does flood insurance cost in Zone AH?
Our flood insurance premiums average $343 a year for Flood Zone AH. NFIP rates for these areas starts at $1,025 a year. How much you'll pay for coverage depends on your exact location, your home's flood history, and other factors.
Insuring Flood Zone AH
You know you need flood insurance, but where should you get it? The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) backed by FEMA is a popular option, insuring more than 5 million homes. But there are some drawbacks: there's a 30-day waiting period before coverage is effective, and the coverage limits may be too low for some homeowners. Dwelling coverage caps at $250,000 and personal belongings at $100,000.
By contrast, flood insurance from a private carrier usually has more options. Our flood insurance endorsement is effective the day you purchase it, and it’s attached to and matches the limits in your homeowners policy. By having your homeowners and flood insurance in one policy, you eliminate gaps and simplify the claims process.
Tips for homeowners in Flood Zone AH
Affordable flood insurance is essential for homeowners in Flood Zone AH. However, that’s just the start of protecting your investment. You also want to reduce the likelihood of suffering flood damage. Begin by:
- Installing water detectors.
- Adding backflow or gate valves to every sewage pipe.
- Making sure your gutters direct water away from your home.
The added benefit? Minimizing flood damage means you file fewer and less severe claims, and that can keep your premium down.
Learn more about flood zones