Flood Zone V

Flood Zone V is a coastal area with an increased chance of flooding, especially from wind-driven waves

Oceanfront mansion after flood

What is Flood Zone V?

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.

What is Zone V’s base flood elevation?

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:

  • Building landward of the reach of the mean high tide.
  • Building only over land rather than water.
  • Elevating homes on pilings, posts, piers, or columns, as opposed to fill, crawlspaces, and solid walls.

Are homes in Flood Zone V required to have flood insurance?

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.

Insuring Flood Zone V

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:

  • Dwelling coverage that can go as high as the limits on your homeowners insurance.
  • Personal property coverage limits that match your homeowners policy.
  • Coverage that starts immediately

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.

How much does flood insurance cost in Zone V?

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.

Tips for homeowners in Flood Zone V

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:

  • Slope landscaping away from the house.
  • Move electrical, plumbing, HVAC equipment to higher floors.
  • Install a backflow valve to prevent backup of sewer and drain.
  • Keep gutters clear and position rain spouts away from the house.

Learn more about flood zones

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