One compoment of owning a home is paying for property insurance. Many people dream of owning a home in Hawaii that is on or near the oceanfront. There can be a lot of pleasure in owning such a property. However, one must also take into consideration the much higher cost of property insurance when such a home is in a high rate flood zone.
I recently asked my friend at www.emeraldmanagement.com for a reference, and got to speak with Spencer Lau of Atlas Insurance Agency-Maui, located in Wailuku, for a quote on a modest home located near the ocean in Waiehu, Maui, a neighborhood within Wailuku, as someone had contacted me to find out more about this property. The home is located across the street from the ocean, and considered to be ina high risk flood zone VE. The house, with less than 1500 s.f. of interior living area, would cost anywhere from $2,980 per year to $3,789 per year to insure, based on which deductible option a homeowner would choose (from a high of $5000 to a low of $1000 deductible). A similar house in a non high risk flood zone would only be approximately $365 for coverage…so it was around 10 times as high to be in this high risk flood zone, near the ocean.
Be aware that the federal government, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) sets the rates for flood insurance, and it is a big consideration when thinking of owning a property close to the ocean.
Here is a website, freeflood.net, that seems pretty accurate in allowing you to look up a property by address to determine which flood zone the property is in and if a lender is likely to require flood insurance.
This link to the county of Maui’s website also shows tsunami evacuation zones. This is not necessarily exactly the same as FEMA’s flood zones, but properties in one category or likely to also be in the other.