Flood insurance zones can sometimes be hard to figure out. What makes it even more confusing is areas that are in a high risk flood area that have never flooded. So why are these areas considered high risk flood zones? We want to talk about that a little bit.

One of the most common questions we get asked is why am I in a flood zone? Well there could be many reasons why a property is in a flood zone but we want to specifically talk about areas that have never flooded.

So lets take a home that has never flooded but is pulling up in a flood zone AE or A which is considered a special flood hazard area. Why is this? Well we must first understand two major factors that drive these flood insurance rate maps, that is historical data and probabilities.

So when FEMA and the local community decide on a flood zone for an area they are looking at many factors like a history of flooding, the base flood elevation, the probability of an area flooding, and the assumed elevation of properties.  So even though an area has not flooded before historical data from other floods could be used with the area to determine probabilities. All flood zones are just probabilities, it basically states we think this will occur in this many situations. Areas that have a 1% chance of flooding are considered high risk areas. This just means a 1 in 100 chance of an area flooding within a given year.  You must also understand that FEMA does put the opportunity out there to get flood zones changed but they would rather be conservative with these maps to make sure people are covered.  So even though your property may have never flooded the risk of it flooding is still there and that is why your bank maybe requiring flood insurance.

If you have questions about why your property is in a special flood hazard area, want to look at different flood insurance options, or even look at getting your flood zone changed please visit our website Flood Insurance Guru. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel or like our Facebook page where we do daily flood education videos.

Chris Greene


Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation