What is the deal with flood insurance? 

A flood policy protects the owner of a home or condo from water damage that rises from the ground up or indirect losses arising out of that flood water.  A quick note, water damage that comes in through a broken window is not considered flood even though it is still water damage.  

Florida is divided into different categories of flood zones - basically by how likely a specific area is to flood.  In a nutshell, the X zone is the good zone, and the AE zone is the more likely to flood zone.  There are other variations of these 2 zones, but these are the two mostly likely you will see in the Sarasota and surrounding area. 

A lender will not require you to have flood insurance in an X zone, but you may want to anyhow.  You likely will find it to be relatively inexpensive for that added peace of mind.  

Conversely, a lender will require you to have flood insurance in an AE zone.  (If you pay cash for a property, that will be completely up to you to carry a flood policy or, for that matter, even a standard hazard policy.)

The flood policy is a secondary policy to standard hazard home owners or condo insurance.  The premium is based on which zone the property is in and the elevation of that specif property. As a note, a flood premium policy may not be overly expensive even in the AE zone if that property is elevated in relation to the flood level. 

In order to get an accurate estimate of flood costs on a property in an AE zone that is not currently carrying flood insurance, the new buyer will likely be required to get an elevation certificate which can be done at the same time as a survey.   

Most MLS listings have the flood zone depicted, but we always double check and your insurance provider will confirm as well.  

To read more about flood, visit www.floodsmart.gov