SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- Residents of Sacramento County will be paying less for flood insurance, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Sacramento County has been given a Class 6 community rating in the FEMA-operated National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). As a result, policyholders will save 20 percent on the annual premium on each flood insurance policy in high risk areas and 5 percent in lower risk areas. For a single-family, one-story home without a basement, for instance, that translates into yearly premium savings of up to $103 for every $100,000 worth of coverage.
"We applaud Sacramento County for this rating," said Martha Whetstone, regional director of FEMA Region IX in San Francisco. "Thanks to the commitment of local floodplain managers, two major advantages are realized. First is the long-term benefit for Sacramento County in reducing future flood losses. Second is the annual financial benefit to residents, in lower insurance premium rates."
The community rating system is limited to those communities that exceed minimum NFIP floodplain management standards. Credit points are assigned to a community's efforts in areas such as public information, mapping and regulation, damage reduction, and flood preparedness. A classification is then assigned, based upon the credit points. The classification determines the premium discount for policyholders. Premium discounts of up to 45% are possible under the community rating system.
"It doesn't matter whether your flood risk is high, medium or low," says County Board of Supervisor Roger Dickinson. "Getting flood insurance is the smart thing to do, because it is not just high risk areas that are flooded. Between 25 and 30 percent of all flood insurance claims are paid to people living outside the high risk areas. "Now is the best time to buy insurance, so that you're not caught without coverage when a flood threatens your home or business."
NFIP policies are available through private insurance companies and agents. There is usually a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect. Customers in the Sacramento area can contact the County at (916) 874-7517 for flood zone information.