There is not a straight answer due to the different flood zones in our area. Flood insurance could be mandatory or not needed at all. Ideally you want to be able to purchase FEMA flood insurance as this is the most cost effective. Otherwise you could be looking at thousands and thousands of dollars.
What is a flood zone?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines flood zones as geographic areas that FEMA has defined according to varying levels of flood risk. These zones are depicted on a community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Hazard Boundary Map (FHBM). Each zone reflects the severity or type of flooding in the area. Everyone lives in a flood zone…it’s just a matter of whether you live in a low, moderate or high risk area.
NFIP, or the National Flood Insurance Program requires homes to maintain a minimum level (or base elevation) to be eligible to purchase flood insurance. Meaning the base flood elevation (BFE) or 1st floor of living, must be (I believe) 8′ above sea level. The only way to know the BFE is to have an elevation certificate, from a licensed surveyor, done.In Okaloosa and Walton Counties we have different flood zones, ranging from “X” which is the low risk area to “A & AE” which are high risk areas and zone “V & VE” which are high risk-coastal areas. Basically, “X” is the best zone…flood insurance is not required. You can purchase FEMA flood insurance for about $400 per year, but it is optional. In the remaining zones. flood insurance will be required. Here is a link explaining the different flood zones: FEMA Definitions of Zones.
Remember this area also has Coastal Barrier zones (CBRA). Coastal barriers serve as important buffers between coastal storms and inland areas, often protecting properties on land from serious flood damage. Also, coastal barriers provide a protective habitat for aquatic plants and animals.
The Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) of 1982 restricted development on the CBRS, in an effort to protect the barrier system and prevent future flood damage. If you live in a CBRS area, you are eligible for federally regulated flood insurance only if your property was built before 1982 and your community participates in the NFIP.
If you are obtaining a mortgage, most lenders don’t require flood insurance if you are in a CBRA zone. If you do want to purchase flood insurance in a CBRA zone, be prepared…it is very expensive.