Defining AE flood zones
AE flood zones are areas that present a 1% annual chance of flooding and a 26% chance over the life of a 30-year mortgage, according to FEMA. These regions are clearly defined in Flood Insurance Rate Maps and are paired with detailed information about base flood elevations. Most AE flood zones are located in close proximity to floodplains, rivers and lakes, though low-lying regions without large bodies of water may also be classified under this designation. Since these areas are prone to flooding, homeowners with mortgages from federally regulated lenders are required to purchase flood insurance through the NFIP.
No two AE flood zones are completely identical, as each region has its own anticipated BFE and sources of flooding. For example, AE flood zones located near the Great Lakes are at risk when high water levels are combined with extreme winds that push waves onshore, according to research from FEMA. In contrast, AE flood zones along the eastern coast of the U.S. are most concerned with flash flooding and hurricanes. Regardless of the region-specific conditions, building in one of these high-risk zones comes with numerous regulations laid out by the American Society of Civil Engineers:
1. The elevation of the lowest floor in a structure must be at or above the zone’s base flood elevation.
2. Enclosed areas below the BFE or lowest floor cannot be used as living spaces.
3. All electrical, plumbing and HVAC equipment must be elevated to or above the area’s BFE.
Whether you’re looking to buy a new home, renovate your existing property or enhance your water damage protection, consulting FEMA’s flood maps is essential for warding off potential losses. If you live in an AE flood zone or other high-risk area, purchasing flood insurance may be required.
For more information on floods and flood insurance, check out our homeowners support page or contact a representative today at 800-242-6422.
The information in this article was obtained from a source or sources that are not associated with Amica. The information is reliable and accurate to the best of our knowledge.