PHILADELPHIA – Residents of Kanawha County, West Virginia have received a nearly $75,000 reduction in their flood insurance premiums through an increase of various floodplain management measures encouraged by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). These measures have reduced the risk of flooding in the county and resulted in a decrease in insurance premiums for communities across the county.
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 Kanawha County shows their commitment to protecting themselves from the dangers of flooding,” stated MaryAnn Tierney, FEMA Region III Regional Administrator. “We would like to thank the county 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.”
Today, there are 1,607 flood insurance policies in force in unincorporated Kanawha County. That represents more than $220,554,900.00 in flood insurance coverage. Policyholders in the Special Flood Hazard Area (Zones A and AE) can now receive a 5% discount on their policy premium because Kanawha County participates in the Community Rating System.
The program includes 10 different class rating levels based on the number and type of activities voluntarily initiated by participating communities. Each level corresponds to a percentage discount on National Flood Insurance policy premiums within the county.
As a member of the Community Rating System, Kanawha County is within an elite group of 12 communities in West Virginia that participate in the CRS Program. With the steps taken by Kanawha County to protect its citizens and increase its resiliency, it has advanced its CRS standing to a Class 9 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 9 community, Kanawha County enables its residents to receive a 5% reduction on their flood insurance premiums.
The Class 9 rating qualifies eligible NFIP policy holders in Kanawha County an average of $47 in savings on their annual premiums. Overall, entering CRS as a Class 9 rating results in a total savings of over $74,852.00 annually.
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 who apply to participate in the CRS are required to provide information demonstrating their floodplain management program exceeds the minimum compliance requirements of the NFIP. 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.
On behalf of the State of West Virginia, FEMA Region III, and the NFIP, we would like to thank Kanawha County for their hard work and dedication to reducing flood risk and increasing resiliency within their communities.
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
1-800-427-4661. 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.