Are you thinking of buying a home in Florida that you think might be in a flood zone? Some people will say you should buy flood insurance no matter where you live in Florida. Others will say you only need flood insurance if you are in a flood zone. If the area you live in or are buying a home in has never been flooded, then it is unlikely that you will need flood insurance.
Did you know that floods can occur even if you don’t live near a river, lake, or ocean? Areas most prone to flooding are barrier and offshore islands, areas near rivers, creeks, or canals, and low areas including those with elevations of less than 10 feet above mean sea level.
If the property you plan to purchase is within a flood zone, you can purchase National Flood Insurance through a property insurance agent. If the property is located in a flood plain, flood insurance is required when you obtain a mortgage. Flood insurance is available on homes, condos, and mobile homes and most enclosed buildings.
Here is the link to FloodSmart.gov. http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/
This will give you information on the National Flood Insurance Program, flooding and flood risks, residential coverage, FAQ’s, flood facts and more.
From the home page, there is a red box where you can type in the address of the property and it will then take you to the property’s flood risk profile. It will tell you whether the home is moderate to low or high risk. It will give an estimated premium amount and it will give you a list of insurance agents serving the area.
Another place to check for flood plains is the local county GIS Flood Maps. Type in the property address and do a flood map search.
Sarasota County – http://gis.scgov.net/
Charlotte County – http://www.ccgis.com/
Lee County – http://leegis.leegov.com/
Manatee County – http://public.co.manatee.fl.us/gishome/jsp/iMaps.jsp
Flood insurance policy rates – http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/residential_coverage/policy_rates.jsp
FEMA Flood Maps – http://www.fema.gov/hazard/map/flood.shtm
Before signing an insurance policy, be sure to read it carefully to make sure you understand the terms and costs and make sure that it is the coverage you need.