Author | Carissa Lord
The cost of flood insurance is going up. That’s nothing new. If you own a home in a regulated floodplain, you may even know that there are a few options homeowners can take to reduce their flood insurance premiums. But what about the rest of the community?
Communities that are on top of their floodplain management game can participate in a program that awards lower flood insurance premiums for the whole community. By joining the Community Rating System (CRS), community leaders can reduce the impacts of flooding AND reduce flood insurance premiums for residents. The more creditable activities, the deeper the discounts.
Full disclosure: before you check the box “sign-me up”, please note that initial entry into the program does take a little patience, organizational skills, and a box or two of file folders. If you’re up for the challenge and put in a little bit of effort (or recruit some help), your community will benefit from:
- Enhanced public safety
- Reduced property and infrastructure damage
- Increased economic stability
- More resilient natural environment
An active participant in the CRS can earn from 5% up to 45% discount on flood insurance premiums for residents in the Special Flood Hazard Area. For some of the nitty gritty details, check out A Local Official’s Guide to Saving Lives Preventing Property Damage Reducing the Cost of Flood Insurance.
So what kind of activities are we talking about? Points are awarded for public information, mapping regulations, flood damage reduction, and flood preparation activities that exceed minimum NFIP requirements. You’re probably doing a lot of that anyway!
Before you begin the initial application, your community must meet the following required criteria:
- Be enrolled in the Regular Phase of the NFIP for at least one year.
- Must be in full compliance with minimum requirements of the NFIP.
- Community must maintain FEMA Elevation Certificates on all new buildings and substantially improved buildings in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)
- You must be taking actions to mitigate repetitive loss properties (if applicable).
- Must maintain all flood insurance policies on properties owned by the community.
- If a coastal community receives a draft Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that delineates the Limit of Moderate Wave Action (LiMWA), the community must show the LiMWA on the final published FIRM.
If you decide that saving lives and fattening up your residents’ wallets is a good idea, then dig in. If you just don’t have enough room on your plate for one more project, give us a call to find out how we can make it a bit easier. Our team of experts can help you develop a strategy to analyze your current activities and additional actions to improve your CRS rating. We can even walk you through the application process when you’re ready.
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