October 19, 2019
FEMA grants additional NFIP flood insurance discounts in Skagit County, policyholders could save hundreds
Skagit County, WA – As a result of the floodplain management activities implemented by Skagit County, the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has determined that Skagit County will receive a Class 5 designation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS). This means that all NFIP flood insurance policies issued or renewed after October 1, 2019 in qualifying zones will receive an automatic 25% discount on premiums, an additional 5% reduction from the previous year. For the average policyholder, the discount equates to approximately $300 annually.
There are more than 22,000 communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program. Of those, only 1,486 communities have committed to the voluntary Community Rating System program. Skagit County is one of only 113 CRS communities nationwide to achieve a Class 5 or better CRS rating.
“I commend your determination to lead your community to be more disaster resistant,” said William Lesser, CRS Coordinator with the Federal Insurance & Mitigation Administration. “This commitment enhances public safety, property protection, and protects the natural functions of floodplains, and reduces flood insurance premiums.”
The Community Rating System is a voluntary program initiated in 1990 by the Federal Insurance & Mitigation Administration to encourage and reward community mitigation activities that go beyond the basic requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program. The goal is to reduce flood damage to insurable property, support the insurance aspects of the NFIP, and encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.
Skagit County achieved a Class 5 CRS rating for its ongoing efforts to mitigate damage caused by flooding, including reviewing new construction projects for compliance with elevation and structural safety requirements, producing flood hazard maps, performing numerous public outreach activities, preserving open space for flood storage, and implementing a flood hazard warning system and response plan. Other communities in Skagit County that also participate in the CRS program include Mount Vernon, which has a Class 6 CRS rating and a 20% insurance discount, and Burlington, which has a Class 7 CRS rating and a 15% insurance discount.
WHAT DOES THE NEW CLASS 5 CRS RATING MEAN FOR SKAGIT COUNTY RESIDENTS?
As of June 30, 2019, there were 1,954 NFIP flood insurance policies in unincorporated Skagit County. Property coverage amounted to $436,534,000 with an annual premium cost of $1,968,326. Moving forward, the total savings resulting from Skagit County’s participation in the CRS program will be in excess of $612,000 a year.
Homeowners should contact their insurance provider about additional flood insurance programs or questions related to insurance premium discounts for their property.
For more information on Skagit County’s participation in the Community Rating System program, please contact Skagit County Planning & Development Services at 360-416-1320.
For more information on flood hazards in Skagit County, and actions you can take to prepare for a flood, please visit www.skagitcounty.net/Departments/Flood/main.htm.