PHILADELPHIA – Residents of the City of Baltimore, Maryland have received a reduction in their flood insurance premiums through implementation of floodplain management measures encouraged by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) oversees the NFIP, which administers a program called the Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed minimum NFIP requirements. The program includes 10 different class rating levels based on the number and type of activities voluntarily initiated by the participating community. Each level corresponds to a percentage discount on National Flood Insurance policy premiums within the municipality.
“The CRS program provides a strong incentive for communities to take flood risk reduction into their own hands,” stated FEMA Region III Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney. “Mitigation actions that reduce the impact of future floods on communities are to be championed, and the City of Baltimore has taken strong steps in this direction.”
As a member of the CRS, the City of Baltimore is within an elite group of 14 Maryland communities that have received this recognition. With the continued steps taken by the City of Baltimore to protect its citizens and increase its resiliency, it has entered the Community Rating System program as a Class 5 participant. The Class 5 rating qualifies eligible National Flood Insurance Program policy holders in floodprone areas an average of $213 savings on their annual premium. In total, entry into the program accounts for a total savings of over $400,000 annually for citizens of Baltimore.
Under the CRS, local officials are asked to meet three goals: (1) reduce flood losses; (2) facilitate accurate insurance rating; and (3) promote the awareness of flood insurance. Communities can earn a CRS rating by submitting an application explaining the projects they have in place or development. Once the information is verified and approved, FEMA provides flood insurance premium discounts through the NFIP. The amount of a property owner's policy discount is based on the community’s CRS rating.
For each class that a community moves up to, it provides its residents with an additional 5% reduction in their flood insurance premiums up to the 45% reduction that a Class 1 community receives. As a Class 5 community, the City of Baltimore enables its residents to receive a 25% reduction on eligible flood insurance premiums.
For information about flood insurance, property owners should contact their insurance agent, visit floodsmart.gov, or call the NFIP's toll-free information line at 800-427-4661. To learn more about the CRS, visit floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/crs/community_rating_system.jsp.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. FEMA Region III’s jurisdiction includes Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Stay informed of FEMA’s activities online: videos and podcasts are available at fema.gov/medialibrary and youtube.com/fema. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/femaregion3.
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