What You Need to Know

You may be now living in a high-risk flood zone without even knowing it. For the first time in almost 30 years, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has proposed updates to flood zones in Manatee Country. A FEMA states that flood maps change periodically to reflect construction, development and environmental changes.

“There are some areas where the flood elevations have gone up and there are some areas where the flood elevation has gone down,” explained Mark Vieira, a senior engineer for FEMA. “The better technology has helped us determine that.”

How will these changes affect you?

First and foremost, the updated flood zone maps could impact how much you pay for flood insurance. In Florida, annual flood insurance prices start around $400 and can exceed $5,000. Costs are based on factors like your flood risk level (flood zone), your property’s elevation and the value of the home. Additionally, If your home resides in an at-risk area and you take out a mortgage, you will be likely be required to purchase a flood insurance policy because a standard homeowners’ insurance policy will not cover flood damage.

In April of 2019, FEMA conducted two open house forums to discuss updated flood zone maps. Over 10,000 Manatee County property owners affected by the maps were sent a postcard inviting them to attend the forum sessions. If you received a postcard, then you will likely now be required to purchase flood insurance if you didn’t already have it.

Note: Your flood zone and your evacuation zone are NOT the same!

Flood Zone Maps: Used to determine flood insurance rates.

Evacuation Zone Maps: Used to determine the extent of coastal storm surge in emergencies.

What can you do now?

Identify Your Flood Zone Designation

Manatee County residents can find out whether or not their flood zone has changed by clicking here.

Once you know your flood zone, the next step is to understand what it means for your home. The flood zones indicate how large or small the flood risk is deemed to be in your particular area.

Flood Zone Definitions:

Flood Zone 

Flood Risk

Flood Insurance Available/Required

B and X (shaded)

Moderate. Available

C and X (unshaded)

Moderate. Available

A, AE, AR, A1-30, A99

High Risk Available & Required.


High Risk Available & Required.
AO High Risk Available & Required.

V, VE, V1-V30

High Risk

Available & Required.

Get Flood Insurance BEFORE It’s a Requirement And Save $$$

Manatee County officials say it will likely take at least a year for maps to be complete. However, you can save yourself a lot of money by purchasing flood insurance before that happens. If you have flood insurance before the new maps take effect, the basis for rating that policy remains unchanged (i.e. you can use the zone rating that was charged to you when your property was located outside the floodplain).

Do you still have questions about flood insurance or the effects of map changes?

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