When clients ask us, “Is this house in a flood zone?”, the answer is always “Yes.” That answer is always correct across the entire globe but, that is the wrong question! The question should be, “Which flood zone is assigned to this property and is flood insurance required?” Now the answer becomes a bit more involved but easily answered just the same. You are about to get a primer on flood zones and requirements for flood insurance in the Naples, Florida area. Read on for local information about flood zones and an easy step-by-step process on your computer to determine in which zone any address is located.
Collier County has the proud distinction of providing FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) with the most detailed maps and information for determination of the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps. FEMA’s job is to protect us so this is good news. Most of Collier County sits between 5 feet and 25 feet above sea level and there is very little slope to any of our land. This makes flooding a possibility in a storm or heavy rainfall. The flood zone designations beginning with the letters “V” for the coastal and beach areas are most at risk in a storm, “A” for areas which could also flood and “X” for land that is higher than the 100 year flood line (a 1% risk of flooding).
Regarding flood insurance, if you own your property outright then there is no requirement for you to have insurance although you may still want to obtain coverage. If your entire structure is located in an “X” zone and there is no federally insured mortgage on the property, then no flood insurance is required. Of all of the zones, the most desirable zone from a flood insurance point of view is an “X” zone in which the rates will be lower.
If any portion of your home or structure (like a swimming pool) is within or touches one of the zones starting with a “V” or an “A” and there is a federally insured mortgage on the property, then flood insurance is required. Note: if there is a mortgage, the lender can require flood insurance as a condition of the loan, no matter what the flood zone may be.
Here is the step-by-step way of finding out in which zone any address in Naples, Florida, is located:
1.) Go to (click on this link) Collier County Flood Information. Click “Flood Map Information” from the list over on the left. (There’s a wealth of information here but don’t get distracted with all of it now – go back when you have a few days with nothing else to do.)
3.) Look in the middle of the page in the body of the text – you will see a link that says, “ DFIRM viewer”. Click on that link. (DFIRM stands for Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map, by the way) You will see a map of the area.
4.) At the top right there’s an address search box. Type in the street address of the property (in place of 2800 Horseshoe Drive which will automatically appear). Select the city, “Naples”, in the box immediately below the street address.
5.) Click on “LOCATE.” Your computer will zoom in on the property address and identify the zone. Zoom in and out (use the vertical bar in the upper left of the map) to investigate just where the lines between the zones are located. Click on “Legend” to associate the map colors with the flood zone designations.
There you go – it’s that simple to find out the flood zone for any property in Naples. If you have any questions or need a little help with finding everything on your computer, just call me at (239) 272-4848.
So, now you want to know how much flood insurance will cost. Flood insurance premiums vary depending upon factors such as the age of the building, elevations and the degree of risk for flooding. We have worked very successfully with local insurance professionals to provide coverage for our real estate clients and would be happy to refer one to you. Please email me at TimCranch@StepsToTheBeach.com
What about building a new house or renovating a flood damaged home?
Just recently, there has been an update in building codes that is significant for new residential construction and will affect insurance policy premiums. In flood zones starting with an “A” or a “V”, newly constructed homes must add 12″ to the base elevation for the lowest floor in the house. Typically, this one additional foot would be added to the foundation or concrete footers to raise the ground floor level. Note that the ground floor space (usually garage on a canal home, as an example) may still not be insurable.
In Collier County, in accordance with FEMA’s Substantial Improvement / Substantial Damage Rule, if a home sustains damage equal to or greater than 50% of the home’s market value, the remaining structure would be demolished and have to be rebuilt to the most current building codes. If you are considering the purchase of an canal home that needs work, you should have us represent your best interests whether or not you think it is a “tear down” or a renovation project.
For details on insurability, specific insurance coverage and quotes for particular property addresses, allow us to recommend an expert local professional for you to consult.
We have the kind of local knowledge that you need to make smart real estate decisions. Call us today with any real estate interest.
Ellie at (239) 776-5077 Tim at (239) 272-4848
As full time real estate professionals, we represent both buyers and sellers in the Naples. If you are a seller, we market your home to local, national and international buyers for the best results. If you are a buyer, we listen well and will find your own “Piece of Paradise” at the best negotiated price and terms.