Can you obtain flood insurance in the 4-Wheel Drive (4WD) areas of the Outer Banks?
The NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) does not provide flood insurance to any new houses in the 4WD area. NFIP is the general public, low-cost, simple-to-obtain federal/FEMA flood insurance. There was a time when FEMA provided flood insurance for the “Off Road” beaches (a.k.a. Carova). Then later on they designated to whole area a CBRA Zone (Coastal Barrier Resources Act)
A CBRA zone (pronounced COBRA zone) is an area designated by Congress that prohibits all federal expenditures, including flood insurance, for residential and commercial development in such zones.
When Carova was designated a CBRA zone, FEMA did grandfather in any houses that could document that they were built prior to a certain date. I believe it was October 1st 1983, but I could be off. So there are some houses that are insured through FEMA. You can get flood insurance on the other houses, but you have to go to the private sector. Which can cost you a lot depending on the flood one you are in and how much your house is worth.
If you are seriously considering the 4WD area for your investment, start with a conversation with a local insurance agent and your Realtor. Besides insurance, there are many other factors to consider with regard to ownership costs, maintenance, and accessibility.