Most people know that the state of Florida is flat and is built upon and surrounded by water. What some don’t know is just how flat it is: the vast majority of land in Florida is at an elevation of less than 150’ above sea level and the highest point in the state is only 345′ above. Flooding is certainly a risk and most homeowners insurance policies won’t cover flood damage or loss.
Does that mean that homeowners need to buy flood insurance? Possibly, depending upon a home’s location and what flood zone it is in according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you are purchasing a home in a high-risk flood area your lender will almost certainly require you to have flood insurance. Some lenders also require flood insurance for properties in lower-risk areas and many homeowners opt to purchase it even if it isn’t mandated.
Before you buy a new home be sure you know what flood zone it is in. The best source I have found is the search tool on FEMA’s website. You can also find a list of insurers who are able to issue flood policies in Florida at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation website and may want to contact a few of them to get quotes.
If you have more questions about flood zones or flood insurance please call me and I will direct you to resources you may find helpful.
Julie Bentley is a licensed Florida Realtor®. Having lived in St. Johns, FL since 2010 she has either asked or been asked about floods and flood insurance many times. If she can’t answer your flood insurance questions you can bet she knows a professional who can!