If your home is in a flood zone, you can be required by law to have flood insurance on the property. Similarly, your mortgage company or lender has the right to make flood insurance part of the mortgage contract. Flood zones exist in many areas, including 5, 10, 30, and `100-year flood levels which illustrate how high waters have been known to rise in that area.
Even if your home is outside of the listed flood zones, you may still suffer flooding under extreme conditions, such as flooding caused by major storms or hurricanes. In fact, there are very few locations in the United States where flooding cannot occur. And since flood insurance is never part of a standard homeowner's policy, it must always be purchased separately. In some areas, flood insurance is only available through insurance pools managed by that state.
Being in a flood makes having flood insurance more important, but there is never a situation where you are entirely safe from the possibility of a flood. If your county tells you that you are not in a flood zone, then you will pay less for the coverage, but it is still a good idea to have it. Neither the county, state, or federal governments will ever tell you that you cannot buy flood insurance.
Flood insurance in most locations is relatively inexpensive, and may be as low as $100 or so annually. Compared to the cost of having to strip and rebuild even a single room in the home, the cost of flood insurance over a number of years is still a bargain. And when everything you and your family have are riding on the gamble, flood insurance is a tough thing to leave out of the family budget.