City improves rating in Flood Insurance Program, helping property owners

From staff reports

A year from now, property owners in the City of Beaufort who are in the National Flood Insurance Program should be paying a lower amount for their flood insurance.

The City of Beaufort was recently notified that it had received additional credits under the flood program’s Community Rating System (CRS), resulting in a CRS classification of 6, compared to Beaufort’s previous rating of 7. The rating system is from 1-10, with a rating of 1 being the best and 10 the worst.

“The lower the number, the greater discount on your flood insurance,” said Bruce Skipper, chief building official for the City of Beaufort.

Property owners in Beaufort who are in flood hazard zones currently have a 15 percent discount on their flood insurance. With this new rating, that will increase to a 20 percent discount.

Under the National Flood Insurance Program, cities and other jurisdictions are rated for flood mitigation measures, and other elements such as maintaining correct flood elevation certificates, every five years.

According to FEMA, In CRS communities, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community’s efforts to address the three goals of the program:

Reduce and avoid flood damage to insurable property;

Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the National Flood Insurance Program;

Foster comprehensive floodplain management.

The City was notified that the new rate will begin on April 1, 2022. Property owners should talk to their insurance agents to get specific information.

Some Beaufort property owners may find that under new Flood Insurance Rate Maps recently released by FEMA, flood insurance may no longer be mandatory for their property.

“These property owners should still get the minimum policy offered by the National Flood Insurance Program,” Skipper said. “You may be at reduced flood risk, but there is no such thing as zero risk in much of Beaufort. Coverage through this program offers peace of mind.”

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