Flood Zone V is the designation for coastal areas with an increased chance of flooding. The chance of a flood in Zone V is 1% annually, sometimes referred to as the 100-year flood, and 26% over the course of a 30-year mortgage.
Moreover, the V in Flood Zone V, as well as Flood Zone VE and V1-30, stands for “velocity wave action.” These wind-driven waves can cause significant damage, putting area homes in danger. Plus, storm waves can move with such force that they continue inland beyond the point of initial impact.
Because of these risks, Flood Zone V is a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). Homeowners in these flood zones need to get flood insurance and be prepared for the possibility of flooding.
Base flood elevation (BFE) is the height floodwaters are expected to reach if an area experiences a 100-year flood. Flood Zone V does not have any designated BFEs; however, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) states that all V zones can experience waves three feet or higher . These waves are strong enough to pull a wall panel away from the floor it was nailed to.
The powerful waves found in Flood Zone V have to be accounted for when building a home. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) lists several construction standards, such as:
Because homes in Flood Zone V are in an SFHA, they are federally mandated to maintain flood insurance. This means that if you want a loan through the Federal Housing Administration, US Department of Veteran Affairs, or the US Department of Agriculture loan, you will have to buy flood insurance. If you don’t have a federally insured loan, it is up to your lender as to whether or not they will require flood insurance.
For those without a loan, you aren’t required to have flood insurance but may want to consider it because of the increased risk. Your homeowners insurance most likely doesn’t cover for flood damage, and that leaves you paying for repairs out of your own pocket. When you consider that one inch of water can cause $25,000 in damages , you might want to look into a policy.
Many homeowners think that the only flood insurance option is the NFIP. While this is a federally backed program, it isn’t necessarily your best option. In fact, an NFIP policy is limited in the coverage it provides because it’s considered a mitigating policy that prevents more federal dollars being spent on recovery.
If you purchase a policy from the NFIP, here’s what you can expect:
This can put you in a bind, especially if your home’s replacement value is higher than $250,000. In that case, you may be in the hole for tens of thousands (or more) in costs.
Our private flood insurance endorsement is a more robust plan that provides:
When you have your homeowners and flood insurance as one policy, you streamline the claims process. This eliminates a lot of frustration when dealing with a big loss like a flood.
Flood insurance in Zone V is more expensive than many other areas because of the coastal risk. On average, homeowners in high-risk zones pay $2,841 for an NFIP policy, but our coverage averages $241.
Just because you live in an SFHA doesn’t mean you can’t mitigate some effects of a flood. Here are some ways to reduce your flood risk:
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