Flood insurance in the desert? When you go to purchase your home you might be surprised to find that you may actually need flood insurance if you live in North Scottsdale and other parts of the state.

How do you know if you should be carrying flood insurance?  If you financed your home, the legwork has been done for you by the lender and it has been determined whether or not your property sits in a flood zone requiring flood insurance.  However, if you paid cash for your home, you might sit in a floodplain that was not identified at the time of purchase and flood insurance is available to you.

The beauty of living in the Sonoran Desert is the outdoor lifestyle with sunny skies 10 months out of the year with the majority of rainfall in the Monsoon season which is typically during the months of July and August.  But when it rains, it pours, and a wash or arroyo will fill quickly due to flash flooding in the Southwest.  While some properties clearly back to a wash or arroyo and are easily identified as sitting in a flood zone some may be quite elusive to the eye.

How do you know if you qualify for flood insurance?  Flood insurance is offered through participating insurers with the NFIP determining the cost and availability.

Recent revisions were made to the Flood Insurance Rate Map by FEMA affecting almost a 1,000 North Scottsdale property owners.

A lucky 800 residents will be either entitled to a refund for over payment or may entirely get to cancel their insurance premium altogether.  The other, almost 200, not-so-lucky residents may face an increase to their annual insurance costs based on risk of structural flooding.

The area of change roughly covers the areas around the North-South borders of Happy Valley Road and Williams Road and the East-West borders of Scottsdale Road and Hayden Road.  On a brighter note, if you feel your property was flagged incorrectly there is a dispute process through the NFIP to resolve an incorrect determination.

If you have questions you can call 480-312-2500 or go online at:

  • Scottsdale Stormwater – ScottsdaleAZ.gov, search on the word stormwater
  • FEMA Flood Insurance Program — www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program
  • FloodSmart — floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/

Since an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, why wouldn’t you cover your property and be prepared for that inevitable 100 or 500-year flood.

Don Matheson
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255