SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- Residents of Monterey County are paying less for flood insurance, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
The County of Monterey has been given a Class 7 community rating in the FEMA-operated National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). As a result, policyholders within the county will save 15 % on the annual premium on each policy in high-risk areas and 5 % in lower-risk areas. For a single-family, one-story home without a basement, in a high-risk area, that translates into yearly premium savings of up to $77 for every $100,000 worth of coverage.
"We applaud Monterey County for this rating," said Martha Whetstone, regional director of FEMA Region IX. "Thanks to the commitment of local floodplain managers, two major advantages are realized. First is the long-term benefit for the county, in reducing future flood losses. Second is the annual financial benefit to county 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.
"Of course, it doesn't matter whether your flood risk is high, medium or low," added Whetstone. "Getting flood insurance is the smart thing to do, because it is not just high risk areas that are flooded. Between 25 and 30 % of all flood insurance claims are paid to people living outside the high risk areas."
NFIP policies are available through private insurance companies and agents. There is usually a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect . The average cost of a policy premium is $ 427 per year.