I Googled for the driest areas in America. I was looking for locations that aren't in a flood zone. Most of us think of a flood zone as an area that's prone to flood. That's why I Googled driest places.... Would you believe even the driest places in America are in flood zones? Yep, even Las Vegas and Phoenix.
The truth of the matter:
We're all in a flood zone. We're just not all in hazardous flood zones. Hazardous zones are those most likely to hold water, lots of water. It's areas where our homes are more likely to flood.
However, we shouldn't be mistaken and think we don't need flood insurance if we're outside a hazardous zone. Actually, a third of all flood claim money has been paid to homeowners living in nonhazardous flood zones. That's over 1 billion dollars, each year, paid to those of us who think "my house will never flood".
Now, if you're living in Phoenix or Vegas, then sure, you probably won't experience flood damage. You're not going to find an A, AE, or AO zone in those areas. Next to the Mississippi or Arkansas Rivers? - you probably will. But even so, you don't have to live on the banks of a river to be in a hazardous flood zone.
I've seen neighborhood construction create flooding. A builder comes in, installs some 24'' culverts where he really needed to use 48''... homes flood. Not his homes, but those downstream.
I've seen road work create flooding. I've seen folks sitting in flood zone X (low risk) take on water, like the picture above. And for a couple hundred dollars they could have avoided paying thousands in damage repair.
All because an inexperienced general contractor wanted to save money by using smaller culverts.
Two types of people buy flood insurance:
1) those who's mortgage company requires it
2) those who've experienced flood damage
You don't have to be Noah to experience flood damage, and you don't have to live by a body of water. Any water entering our house from ground level, regardless of what causes it, is deemed flooding. And our homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.
Two other important tips regarding flood insurance:
1) there's a 30-day waiting period once you pay for the policy before you have actual coverage. The NFIP doesn't want us watching the weather report, then signing up for flood insurance.
2) flood insurance prices are the same regardless of where we buy from. If there's a difference in price, there's a difference in coverage.
I take pride in understanding how flood insurance works. Not many people do. It's confusing. It's the red-headed step child of most agencies. But it's important. And you should have questions, and not just "Do I need flood insurance".