Flood Insurance in Oahu

How much will flood insurance cost for this property?

A client asked me that yesterday about a particular house in Hawaii Kai. Here’s the honest answer (which I gave): I don’t know. But I told her I’d find out.

Recently there has been a rash of reports (here for example) about skyrocketing flood insurance rates on Oahu. The question for a buyer looking at several properties, though, is How much will flood insurance cost for this property when compared to that property?

So I did some digging. I found a handy flood map for your perusal and enjoyment. This will tell you what flood zone a particular property is in.

I also called several insurance agencies, and here’s the skinny. Flood insurance rates vary all over the place, from a few hundred dollars per year up to $5000 or even $40,000 per year.

The primary factor affecting your flood insurance rates on Oahu is the flood zone. (The age of the house, the number of stories, and a few other factors also matter.) Zones B, C, and X are the cheapest, meaning the least likely to flood. Zone D means the risk is undetermined, so this is middling expensive. Any flood zone with an “A” in it (there are a few variations) will be up in the Holy cow! category.

Some examples: Zone X in Mililani may be $400 dollars per year. Zone D in Hawaii Kai might cost you $4000-5000 per year. Zone AE on Oahu’s North Shore might run you $30,000 per year. These are very ballpark-y figures so please consume with a large chunk of salt.

There’s much more to say about flood insurance, so give me a call if you’d like to chat. For now, know this: The answer to my client’s question about the cost for flood insurance for that particular property: $4500 per year.

By Luke Korkowski (R)

Real estate attorney. Small business investor. Husband, dad, aspiring surfer. REALTOR® and Principal Broker at Square Feet Hawaii.