What Is Flood Zone VE? Your Risk and Insurance Costs
On a flood zone map, Flood Zone VE is a Special Flood Zone Hazard Area with a 1% annual chance of experiencing a flood. Since Zone VE is a coastal hazard area, homeowners are also vulnerable to additional hazards from fast-moving storm-induced waves on top of base flood elevations. You are, therefore, required to buy flood insurance if you have a government-backed mortgage on a home. The flood coverage requirement will likely apply to private mortgages, as well.
Mortgage lenders consider which flood zone your home is located when determining your home insurance rates. Keep reading to learn how Zone VE works and how your home may be affected.
What Is Flood Zone VE?
Flood Zone VE is a label on a flood map for a coastal Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) that has a 1% annual chance of experiencing a flood. Fast-moving or storm-induced waves of three feet or higher may accompany the base flood elevation.
Compared to other flood zones, which have a low or moderate risk of flooding, Zone VE is considered a high-risk flood zone.
Are Homes in Flood Zone VE Required To Have Flood Insurance?
Basic home insurance does not cover floods, so you will need to purchase a separate policy for coverage. For homes located within Zone VE, carrying flood insurance is required if you have a government backed mortgage. A private mortgage lender most likely will require it as well.
How Much Is Flood Insurance in Flood Zone VE?
Prior to Oct. 1, 2021, the highest you could expect to pay for a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy on a home in Zone VE was $6,175 maximum coverage if the home was constructed or renovated before 1/1/1975. The maximum coverage you can buy from NFIP today is $250,000 for the building's structure (dwelling coverage) and $100,000 for your personal belongings (building coverage and personal property coverage are purchased separately).
The new Risk Rating 2.0 methodology launched Oct. 1, 2021, now places more weight on factors besides your home's flood zone, such as:
Structure foundation type
Elevation level of lowest flood
These additional considerations will result in premiums that more accurately affect risk. FEMA predicts that up to 89% of existing policyholders will pay $0 to $86 less per month, on average, in monthly premiums. Meanwhile, 11% may pay up to $20 or more per month, on average.
How Do Flood Zones Affect Home Insurance Costs?
Higher home insurance rates often accompany a higher risk of flooding. The previous methodology had higher rates for the high-risk Zone VE compared to minimal risk areas, like Zone X, which only has a 0.2 percent annual chance of flooding. Moreover, flood insurance is often required for homeowners who live in zones with high flood risk. This additional expense is optional in minimal flood hazard zones.
Flood Zone VE vs. Flood Zone AE
Both Zones AE and VE are considered high-risk Special Flood Hazard Areas that are vulnerable to oceanic natural disasters. Zone VE, however, has a higher risk than Zone AE of damage by moving water and larger waves.
Special Flood Zone Hazard Areas
1% annual chance of flooding
3 feet or higher
Less than 3 feet
Higher risk of damage by waves
Present, but lower risk of damage by waves
Insuring Flood Zone VE
Flood insurance is available through the NFIP, which operates under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Some private insurance companies may sell private flood insurance policies at a lower rate so be sure to ask your current insurer or other private insurers.
The NFIP Vs. Private Flood Insurance for Flood Zone VE
With 23,000 communities partnered with the NFIP, finding flood insurance is little to no trouble. Private flood insurance policies are becoming increasingly available through large national carriers, like Liberty Mutual and Allstate, and regional providers, too.
Although an NFIP flood insurance policy is often a go-to option, a private policy has some advantages worth considering:
Higher coverage limits: Some private insurers offer coverage limits that exceed the NFIP maximum limits ($250,000 for structure; $100,000 for personal belongings).
Replacement cost value for personal belongings: While the NFIP offers replacement cost coverage for your home's structure, your personal belongings are reimbursable only at actual cash value (your item's value minus depreciation). Your insurer may offer a replacement cost policy, which will reimburse you for the amount it costs to purchase that item today.
Another option is excess flood insurance, which offers additional coverage on top of your base flood protection policy — whether it's an NFIP or private flood policy.
Flood Zone VE FAQs
Is my house in Flood Zone VE?
You may use the Flood Map Service Center (MSC) for finding more information about FEMA flood zone designations in your area.
Is VE flood zone bad?
Zone VE is considered a high-risk flood zone and is vulnerable to damages by storm-induced and fast-moving water. If you live in Zone VE, you are required to buy flood insurance if you have a federally-backed mortgage loan. Although, a private mortgage lender will likely require proof of flood insurance, as well.
Is flood Zone VE worse than AE?
Compared to Zone AE, homes in Zone VE are more vulnerable to damage by larger waves. Generally, homeowners in Zone VE face higher home insurance rates than those in Zone AE.
What do flood zones mean in terms of risk?
The letter preceding a labeled zone determines its risk of being flooded. Moderate- to low-risk flood zones are typically preceded by the letters B, C and X. High-risk flood zones typically start with the letters A or V. Zoning rules, building codes and other regulations for managing flood hazards in each zone are dictated by the FEMA floodplain management standards.
Protect Your Home From Floods and More
Whether you live in a high-risk flood zone or you're moving to one, flood insurance will almost always be required. Flood insurance from the NFIP is one option but buying a private policy may save you money. SmartFinancial can help you find a lower homeowners insurance rate and possibly a cheaper flood policy on top of it. To get free insurance quotes, just enter your zip code below and answer a few simple questions.
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