What is Flood Zone B?
Flood Zone B is a moderate-risk flood zone. It's primarily known as an area of the 500-year flood, which means there is only a 0.20% risk of annual flooding. It may also be used to describe a base floodplain (i.e., an area with a 1% chance of flooding) with less significant hazards, such as those:
- Protected by levees or dams.
- With flooding depths of less than one foot.
- With drainage areas of less than one square mile.
New and revised flood maps replace this designation with Zone X (shaded).
What Is Zone B’s base flood elevation?
The base flood elevation (BFE) is the anticipated height of surface water during a 100-year flood. Insurance companies use this measurement when determining insurance rates and by contractors when building a home in an area with a high risk of flooding.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) doesn’t list any BFEs or depths for Flood Zone B. Despite this, Flood Zone B has the potential for floodwaters to be as deep as one foot.
Are homes in Flood Zone B required to have flood insurance?
Living in an area with moderate flood risk means homeowners in Flood Zone B are not in a Special Flood Hazard Area and aren’t required to get flood insurance. However, lenders may still make flood insurance a condition of your mortgage. Most lenders err on the side of caution when it comes to flooding thanks to an increase in flood frequency and depth. This is just one way climate change is impacting the cost of insurance for homeowners.
Just because you aren’t required to get flood insurance doesn’t mean your home is not at risk. Even an inch of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home’s structure and your belongings. Not having insurance means you’re responsible for the costs of repairs yourself.
Insuring Flood Zone B
Homeowners have the option to buy flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is backed by FEMA, or from a private insurer. While the NFIP does cover the vast majority of homeowners, its policies have some key deficiencies you should be aware of. Most importantly:
Private insurance typically provides more options. For example, when you buy a flood insurance endorsement from us, you get immediate coverage with no waiting period and limits that match the coverage on your current homeowners insurance.
By having your flood insurance as part of your homeowners insurance policy, you reduce the chance of gaps in your coverage. Plus, you have only one claims department to deal with when you have a loss. This eliminates a lot of frustration during a claim.
How much does flood insurance cost in Zone B?
Flood insurance costs are contingent on your flood zone, elevation, and home specifics. Our average flood insurance premiums start at $175 per year for a home in Flood Zone B. The NFIP averages $427 for low-to-moderate risk areas.
Tips for homeowners in Flood Zone B
Flood insurance can only go so far when it comes to protecting your investment. The next step is to minimize your damage should you have that 100-year flood, such as:
- Moving electrical, heating, cooling, and plumbing equipment to higher floors.
- Cleaning out gutters and positioning rain spouts away from your home.
- Landscaping your yard to prevent pooling against your house’s foundation.
- Talking to county officials about floodplain management.
Reducing the severity and frequency of your claims is a good way to keep your flood insurance costs from skyrocketing.