PHILADELPHIA – Residents of Wachapreague, Virginia have received a reduction in their flood insurance premiums through increase of various 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 Community Rating System change for the Town of Wachapreague shows their commitment to protecting themselves from the dangers of flooding,” FEMA Region III Regional Administrator MaryAnn Tierney stated. “We would like to thank Wachapreague for taking actions to protect lives and property which has reduced their risk to flooding, and as a result they have seen a drop in their insurance premiums to reflect those efforts.” 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.
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.
As a member of the Community Rating System, the Town of Wachapreague is within an elite group of 25 communities in Virginia that have received this recognition. With the steps taken by Wachapreague to protect its citizens and increase its resiliency, it has entered the CRS program as a Class 8 participant. 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 8 community, Wachapreague enables its residents to receive a 10% reduction on their flood insurance premiums.
The Class 8 rating qualifies eligible NFIP policy holders in Wachapreague an average of $94.00 in savings on their annual premiums. In addition, each policy written in the non-Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) zones of Stafford County receives a 5% annual premium discount, for an average saving of $45.00. Overall, entering CRS as a Class 8 rating results in a total savings of over $4,618.00 annually. On behalf of the Commonwealth of Virginia, FEMA Region III, and the NFIP, we would like to thank Wachapreague for their hard work and dedication to reducing flood risk and increasing resiliency within their community.
For information about flood insurance, property owners should contact their insurance agent, visit www.FEMA.gov/national-flood-insurance-program , or call the NFIP's toll-free information line at 800-427-4661. To learn more about the CRS, visit www.FEMA.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-rating-system.
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters. 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.