Do I Need Flood Insurance in Mississippi?
Whether you think your property needs it or not, flood insurance is a crucial aspect of properly protecting your home or business. While standard homeowners insurance policies cover a variety of different perils and damages, they don’t cover damage from flooding. Granted, policies typically do include some water damage coverage, but only if such damage comes from very specific instances of faulty plumbing, not from natural disasters.
Given the generally high risk of flooding in the state, the federal government requires that all homeowners living in Special Flood Hazard Areas enroll in flood insurance coverage. Also, some mortgage lenders might require you to have flood insurance until your property is fully paid off.
What’s more, roughly 20 percent of flood claims in the United States come from low- risk areas. Even if you’re confident that it won’t happen to you, there’s no guarantee that your property won’t be affected by flooding, nor is there a guarantee that any monetary relief from the government will be sufficient to fully recover and repair your property. With Mississippi ’s storied history of floods, the varied reliability of numerous levees, and the state’s general geography, you would be putting yourself at serious financial risk by not enrolling in flood insurance.
Mississippi Flood Zones
Many sections of Mississippi have varying classifications determining their level of flood risk. Luckily, figuring out what kind of flood zone you live in is fairly easy by visiting floodsmart. gov and navigating to the Flood Map Service Center (MSC). With this tool, you can search your property’s address and see what kind of designation it carries. Here’s a quick guide on how to properly determine whether you live in a high-risk flood area:
Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA): If your zone is demarcated as Zone A, Zone AO, Zone AH, Zones A1–A30, Zone AE, Zone A99, Zone AR, Zone V, Zone VE, Zones V1–V30, or a combination of these, then your property sits in an SFHA or high-risk flood zone. These types of flood zones indicate that the given area is part of a 100-year floodplain and has a chance of equaling or exceeding the base flood elevation. In more direct terms, SFHAs have a 25 percent or higher risk of flooding at some point during a 30-year mortgage term.
Moderate Flood Hazard Areas: If your area appears as Zone B or as a shaded Zone X on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), then your property is in a moderate-risk area. These types of flood zones indicate that the given area is part of a 500-year floodplain, meaning that the area has a lower risk of flooding than an SFHA.
Low Flood Hazard Areas: If your area appears as Zone C or as an unshaded Zone X on a Flood Insurance Rate Map, then your property is in a low- risk area. These types of flood zones sit at a higher elevation or have less of a chance of flooding than a Moderate Flood Hazard Area.