What Is Flood Zone V? Your Risk and Insurance Costs

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Flood Zone V is a high-risk flood zone usually located in coastal areas with a 1% annual chance of experiencing a flood in a given year. The flood risk is increased due to potential flooding caused by storm-induced waves.

Homeowners in Zone V are federally required to buy flood insurance if they have a government-backed mortgage but the mandatory purchase requirements will likely apply to private mortgages, too. Flood policies through the National Insurance Flood Insurance Program cost, on average, $5,453.70 per year. Flood insurance is available in the private marketplace, as well.

What Is Flood Zone V?

On a flood map, Zone V is a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) with a 1% annual chance of experiencing a flood. Since Zone V is typically found in coastal areas, homeowners are more likely to experience flooding caused by storm-induced waves.

If you're a homeowner in Zone V, then you are federally required to buy flood insurance if you have a government-backed mortgage. However, private mortgage lenders will likely enforce flood insurance requirements since Zone V is such a high-risk flood zone.

Insuring Flood Zone V

Since standard homeowners insurance does not cover flood losses, you will need to purchase flood coverage separately. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is administered under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), sells flood insurance. A NFIP policy has the following coverage limits for a single-family dwelling:

  • Up to $250,000 of building coverage (covers your home's structure)

  • Up to $100,000 of personal property coverage (covers your personal belongings, like furniture and clothes)

Flood insurance is available in the private marketplace, as well. If you're able to secure one, you'll have more coverage for less.

The NFIP Vs. Private Flood Insurance for Flood Zone V

An advantage of an NFIP policy is its accessibility — NFIP has partnered with 23,000 communities nationwide. However, a flood insurance policy purchased from a private insurance company also has its appeals:

  • Purchase coverage limits that exceed NFIP maximums ($250,000 of building coverage and $100,000 of personal contents coverage).

  • Replace your personal property at replacement cost value (get reimbursed for covered flood losses without deducting for depreciation.)

Are Homes in Flood Zone V Required To Have Flood Insurance?

Mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements will apply if you have a government backed-mortgage. Even private mortgage lenders may enforce homeowners to purchase flood insurance due to the increased flood risk.

Even if you live in a low- to moderate-risk flood zone where flood insurance purchase requirements do not apply, you may still want to consider flood coverage. FEMA estimates that just one inch of floodwater can cause $25,000 in damages. Without flood insurance, you will be responsible for the full cost of repairing your home and replacing items after a flood.

Is My Home in Flood Zone V?

Flood maps are available online through the NFIP website. Enter your address into the search feature to find flood zone designations in your neighborhood and surrounding areas.

How Do Flood Zones Affect Home Insurance Costs?

There is no longer a direct relationship between NFIP insurance premiums and flood zones after the Risk Rating 2.0 methodology was adopted in 2021. Instead, flood zones are primarily used to distinguish SFHAs, which carry the federal requirement to buy flood insurance for certain homes in these zones.

The following factors carry more weight when determining your flood insurance premiums for NFIP and private flood policies:

  • Foundation type

  • Height of lowest floor relative to base flood elevation

  • Replacement cost value of the home's structure

  • Historical losses

How Much Is Flood Insurance in Flood Zone V?

The average cost of flood insurance in all V zones is $5,453.70 per year according to February 2022 data collected by FEMA across 23 states. Actual costs can vary based on location, foundation type and other factors listed earlier.

Private Flood Insurance

You may find a lower-cost flood insurance policy in the private marketplace. Below are sample flood insurance rates in Florida provided by The Flood Insurance Agency:

Flood Zone

Annual Premium Quote

B, C, X zones


All A zones


All V zones


Source: The Flood Insurance Agency (TFIA)
*For $250,000 building coverage and $100,000 personal contents coverage

Find Affordable Homeowners Insurance Rates

What Does a Flood Zone Mean in Relation to Risk?

The risk each flood zone poses is labeled by certain letters. Zones with letters A or V are considered high-risk Special Flood Hazard Areas and homeowners with government-backed mortgages are required to buy flood insurance. Zones with letters B, C or X are low- to moderate-risk zones without any federal flood insurance requirement.

Tips for Homeowners in Flood Zone V

The following tips can help you protect your home and personal belongings, especially in a high-risk flood zone, like Zone AO:

  • Create an inventory of all your belongings and their value.

  • Store important valuables and documents in waterproof containers.

  • Consider installing water-resistant tiles in your home.

  • Seal basement walls with waterproofing compounds and cracks or gaps in windows, doors and around pipes.

  • Install flood vents in enclosed areas, like your foundation wall or garage.

  • Anchor outdoor furniture.

  • Build new homes away from water sources and elevate them with stilts or piers.

  • Slope your yard so water flows away from your home and detached structures.


What is the best flood zone rating?

Zones B, C and X are considered the minimal risk areas with a 0.2% chance of flooding in a given year. There are no federal flood insurance purchase requirements in these zones.

What does VE stand for in flood?

VE zones refer to high-risk flood zones with a 1% annual chance of experiencing a flood. Flood hazards are higher due to fast-moving storm waves of three feet or higher. Homeowners in Zone VE must buy flood insurance if they have a government-backed mortgage.

What type of foundation is best for Flood Zone V?

Homes in Zone V should have open foundations (e.g., piers, piling, columns) and are not allowed to have basements according to FEMA. Closed foundations, such as concrete walls are not allowed.

What is the most expensive flood zone?

Flood policies to insure homes in V zones are typically the most expensive, costing $5,453.70 per year, on average, for a NFIP flood policy. A zones are the next most expensive, followed by B, C and X zones.

Flood Coverage at the Best Price

Living in Zone V means you're vulnerable to flooding and you'll want to ensure that you're adequately covered. With SmartFinancial, we compare rates and coverages for home insurance companies and flood insurance providers to help ensure you have the best possible protection. Just enter your zip code below or call 855.214.2291 to receive your free homeowners insurance quotes.

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