call

Flood Zone X: Your Risk and Insurance Costs

A standard homeowners insurance policy covers many losses, but it does not cover losses that directly result from flooding. While some home insurance carriers offer flood insurance as an endorsement to a standard homeowners policy, flood insurance is usually sold as a stand-alone home insurance product.

Flood insurance can be purchased from a private insurance carrier or from the National Flood Insurance Program, which is a federal program managed by FEMA.

FEMA's designated flood zones are based on a geographical area's likelihood of flooding. According to FEMA, Zone X represents a low-to-moderate risk of flooding, which means Zone X residents pay much less for flood insurance than residents in high-risk areas.

What Is Flood Zone X?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) designated flood zones on base flood elevations, which measure how high flood waters may rise each year in a given area. Zone X sites have a low-to-moderate risk of flooding because they have a higher elevation than predicted flood levels.

However, flooding, mudflows and other flood-related erosion hazards can occur in Zone X areas that have drainage systems that perform poorly or fail after intense, heavy rainfalls, a phenomenon called surface water flooding or pluvial flooding.

Zone X sites are not included in FEMA's Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA), which have a high risk of flooding.

Flood Zone X: Shaded vs Unshaded

FEMA divides Zone X into two subcategories: shaded and unshaded. This distinction represents a difference in flood risk:

  • Shaded Zone X has a moderate risk of flooding. Every year, the flood risk is between 0.2% and 1%.

  • Unshaded Zone X has a low risk of flooding. Every year, the flood risk is less than 0.2%.

Whether shaded or unshaded, Zone X flood plains are low to moderate risk because they have a less than a 1% chance of flooding each year. So, if you live in Zone X, your flood insurance should reflect this lower flood risk.

What Do Flood Zones Mean in Terms of Risk?

Let's take a look at FEMA's general flood-zone designations, starting with the lowest-risk zones:

Zones C and Unshaded X

Residences in these floodplains have a low risk of flooding.

Zones B and Shaded X

Residences in these flood zones are moderately at risk to flooding.

Zones A, AE, AH and AO

Residences in these floodplains have a 26% chance, at the very most, of flooding during the course of a 30-year mortgage. Every year, these zones have a 1% likelihood, at the very most, of flooding. Zone AH areas have ponds and other sources of low-level flooding, while Zone AO areas have rivers or streams.

Zones V and VE

Residences in these flood zones have a 26% chance, at the very least, of flooding during the course of a 30-year mortgage. Every year, these zones have a 1% likelihood, at the very least, of flooding. Zones V and VE are subject to coastal storm surges.

Find Affordable Homeowners Insurance Rates

How Flood Zones Affect Home Insurance Costs

Your home insurance rate is based on the age, construction type and square footage of your home, among other factors. While the flood zone associated with your residence will impact the cost of your flood insurance, it does not impact the cost of your home insurance.

If you add a flood endorsement to your standard home insurance policy, you would pay more for the policy with the add-on.

If you live in a high-risk floodplain, your home insurer or your mortgage lender may require you to purchase flood insurance. The cost of your flood insurance will reflect the risk associated with the zone in which your house sits.

Insuring Flood Zone X

If your residence is in unshaded Zone X (low risk), you will pay less for your flood insurance than a residence in shaded X (moderate risk). Both unshaded and shaded Zone X will both pay much less than the high-risk zones.

When determining the cost of your flood insurance, a home insurer will look at your house's elevation in relation to your neighborhood's base flood elevation. The insurer will also consider the house's proximity to a water source, the frequency of flooding in the area and the types of flooding, whether caused by pluvial flooding, river overflow, coastal erosion or storm surge. Finally, the insurer will calculate how much it would cost to completely rebuild your home.

How Much Is Flood Insurance in Flood Zone X?

The most common natural disaster in the U.S., floods cause the most damage out of all natural disasters. According to FEMA, one inch of water can lead to almost $27,000 worth of property damage.

Flood insurance covers not only the interior and exterior of your house's structure (dwelling coverage) but also your personal belongings (personal property coverage). Using NIFP data, flood insurance for a pre-1975 single-family home with a basement varies, on average, according to the riskiness of the floodplain:

Flood Zone

Flood Insurance Per $100 of Dwelling

Flood Insurance Per $100 of Personal Property

X

$1.25

$1.93

A

$1.36

$1.60

V

$1.77

$2.05

Using the same NIFP data, let's look at the cost of flood insurance for a pre-1975 single-family home with a basement that has been "substantially improved" on or after April 1, 2015. Again, the cost varies, on average, according to the riskiness of the floodplain:

Flood Zone

Flood Insurance Per $100 of Dwelling

Flood Insurance Per $100 of Personal Property

X

$1.25

$1.93

A

$3.83

$4.50

V

$5.03

$5.84

Are Homes in Zone X Required To Have Flood Insurance?

Since Flood X represents a low to moderate risk, homeowners with a residence in a Flood X area are typically not required by the National Flood Insurance Program, private carriers or lenders to purchase flood insurance.

Residences in Zone X have a low to moderate risk of experiencing a flood.

It is important to remember that while a standard homeowners policy covers damage or destruction that stems from tornadoes, hurricanes and other wind events, it does not cover all natural disasters, like flooding. If you have no flood insurance when an overflowing river severely damages your house, your standard home insurance will pay no compensation.

The NFIP vs. Private Flood Insurance for Flood Zone X

You can only purchase National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) coverage if you live in one of the 23,000 participating NFIP communities. However, you can buy flood insurance from a private carrier, which usually costs less than flood insurance from the NFIP. In some cases, private flood insurance can cost about half as much as NFIP coverage.

NFIP requires flood insurance for any residence that sits in a high-risk area. Coverage is limited to $250,000 for a home's structure and $100,000 for personal belongings.

Flood insurance from a private carrier only takes days to kick in, but NFIP takes almost a month.

Take the Risk out of Buying Flood Insurance

If you reside in Zone X, your house is relatively safe from a flood event. If you live in Flood X (shaded), your home is moderately liable to suffer damage from flooding. If you live in Flood X (unshaded), your home has a very small chance of incurring damage from flooding. In other words, if you live in Zone X, you don't have a high risk of flooding unless the area you live in has poor drainage. However, if you live in a high-risk zone—a zone that begins with the letter A or V—you'll need to purchase flood insurance.

If you live in Zone X, you probably don't need to purchase flood insurance.

One risk you don't want to take is to neglect buying homeowners insurance. This is why most mortgage lenders require it. SmartFinancial can compare home insurance policies in your area to save you up to 40%. Get a free, real-time quote by entering your zip code below. Or call 855-214-2291 to speak with a live agent.

Get a Free Home Insurance Quote Online Now.