By Sue Hopfensperger

FEMARecently, ISO joined representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) to present the city of Palm Coast, Florida, with a plaque recognizing its recent achievement: earning a Class 4 rating from the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS). Palm Coast joins only 12 other communities in the United States that have achieved a Class 4 or better.

The CRS was created by Congress and is administered by FEMA as a voluntary incentive program that assesses a community’s ability to mitigate flood damage. In 1991, FEMA tasked ISO with implementing the CRS, and we continue to do so. The program encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed minimum NFIP requirements. The CRS’s three main goals are to reduce flood losses, facilitate accurate insurance ratings, and promote the awareness of flood insurance.

Communities receive discounts on insurance rates depending on their CRS rating, which runs from 1 (the top rating) to 10 (receives no discount). Discounts can go as high as 45 percent if a property is in a special flood hazard area (SFHA).

CRS activities fall into four categories:

  • public information — advising people about flood hazards and how to reduce flood damage
  • mapping and regulations — various programs to increase protections for new development
  • flood damage reduction — reducing the flood risk to existing development
  • flood preparedness — implementing flood warnings and dam safety programs

Thanks to Palm Coast’s Class 4 rating, its citizens benefit from an additional discount to an already robust reduction in flood insurance premiums. There are 4,419 flood insurance policies in force in the city. Insureds located within an SFHA will receive a 30 percent reduction in premium rates at renewal—an average savings of $120 per policy. Properties outside an SFHA will maintain the current 10 percent discount. Holders of preferred risk policies will also remain the same because those policies are already significantly discounted.

Due to Palm Coast’s CRS participation, policyholders realize an annual savings of $103,236. For more information on ISO, visit our website.