The B flood zone or the shaded X flood zones are areas that FEMA considers a moderate flood hazard. B flood zones are usually areas protected by a levee or dam. The Shaded X flood zones sometimes are areas that, when flooded, will drain slowly, and due to the landscape, FEMA is guessing that these Shaded X flood zones will get flooded to the depth of 1 flood or less.
One inch of flooding can cost $25,000+ in damage your home or business. As we are seeing more and more floodwaters rise in recent years, so does the cost of repairing your home or replacing what is damaged by flooding. Invest in a flood insurance policy to protect your property and use that $25,000+ for investing or something else rather than paying for a damaged home due to flooding.
C an X-unshaded flood zones
C and X (unshaded area) are where FEMA has decided that the risk is minimal compared to the higher risk area (whatever that means). C flood zones usually have ponding and/or local drainage problem that causes yearly flooding by 20%.
X flood zones are areas with some flood protection in places like byways, levees, or cemented rivers. However, many of these areas still flood because the rapid accumulation of rainwater is only made to carry so much volume, and if mother nature spells more, your home will be at risk of flooding.
Since the above flood zones are not considered high risk, our federal government doesn’t require those with loans to purchase flood insurance. This is the vast majority of properties in most communities in the US, so most people do not have flood coverage and are at risk.
You should consider that FEMA doesn’t have the funding or workforce to accurately map the county. Many maps are out of date or not accurate. And due to politicians and developers paying officials to redraw the maps, new developments don’t have to require the purchase of flood insurance. So your home may be at more risk than you think.
A flood zone designation is also called an unnumbered A flood zone. It is an area that has a 26% chance of flooding. These areas are usually in rural communities, and there wasn’t an extensive or detailed analysis performed. Hence, FEMA means that the corps of engineers hasn’t set a base flood elevation (BFE), where they determine how high the flood waters will go based on zero sea level. In an unnumbered A flood zone, this BFE is not established, and this typically results in high flood premiums if you buy the NFIP or government policy. Let a flood nerd do your shopping to ensure you get the best; in many cases, the private flood policies are a better premium.
You can get flood insurance in an AE flood zone.
AE flood zones are the most common flood zones. This means that the study has been more in-depth, and a BFE has been established. The AE flood zone is FEMA’S equivalent to innovation, whereas a few terms ago, these areas used to be identified with the A1-A30 flood zone. After years of muddling through this, NFIP finally understood that the destination didn’t need to be that specific and changed all these areas to an AE flood zone.
You can get Flood insurance in an A1 – A30 flood zone.
This was an old format and isn’t nearly outdated. That being said, we sometimes still see these flood zones as a government program, which is slow to change. I am not overly surprised. That said, I would love to hear from you if your flood zone is still identified this way, just more for kicks than anything else. Robert@betterflood.com
You can get flood insurance in an AH flood zone.
AH is usually an area where FEMA has decided that the flooding would be shallow. That doesn’t mean that the “shallow flooding won’t cost as much as $25,000+ to repair; remember the 1-inch damage referenced earlier in this article? Oh, and these areas have a 26% chance of flooding.
You can get flood insurance in an AO flood zone.
An area with an AO flood zone is identified as an area that will flood along a river or stream. FEMA has also considered this area a low-depth flood zone, meaning that the water depth can range from 1 foot to 3 feet. I don’t’ know about you, but any water in my home is bad. I don’t really care about the depth; I just want to never have flood water in my home, and I hope it never happens to you as well.
You can get flood insurance in an AR flood zone.
An AR flood zone is a temporarily increased risk as the community is doing flood mitigation work or repairing an area damaged in a previous flood or required repair due to the age of the community’s protection system.
You can get flood insurance in an A99 flood zone.
And flood zone that has the designation of A99 is an area where the construction has reached such a high level that the flood water shed has effectively been changed. Think of the new mall; all the surrounding land that used to absorb water runoff is now asphalt or cement. That water has to go somewhere, hopefully not into your home.
High-Risk Coastal Areas
You can get flood insurance in a V flood zone.
A V flood zone or also called an unnumbered V flood zone is a coastal area that has a hazard that is associated with waves or high tides. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding. Also, like the unnumbered A flood zone, no BFE is established, so these communities tend to have higher flood insurance premiums if your policy is with the NFIP.
VE flood zones are also coastal areas prone to waves and high tides. Storm waves are a particular type of flood that happens in these areas. The BFE has been established in this flood zone, and most coastal properties are VE flood zone. Actually, I take that back. Most coastal properties are X flood zone. This is a crock of s**t because most of these homes have been mapped out in recent years of the high-risk area, which used to give these multi-million homes access to the NFIP Preferred Risk Policy (PRP=$500 premium). The PRP was heavily subsidized by taxpayers; the original idea of this policy was to encourage those who didn’t have to buy flood insurance. However, guess who benefited most from these subsidies? You guessed it, those people with oceanfront properties are at a much higher risk of flooding than an area in the desert of Nevada. The good news is that in October of 2021, the NFIP is now phasing out this PRP policy. Those homes that were getting the subsidized rates will see an increase yearly until they reach the full rate risk of more than $5,000. That being said, it could take up to 20 years for us still subsidize them until they reach the full rate risk.
So the best news is you can get flood insurance in any flood zone, and we recommend it.