Residents and businesses on the Big Island will be paying less for flood insurance, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Hawaii County has earned a Class 7 community rating from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as of October 1, 2019. As a result, current and new policyholders save 15 percent on the annual premium on each flood insurance policy in identified high-risk areas and five percent in lower risk areas. That translates into yearly premium savings of over $500,000 dollars for Big Island residents.
“We applaud Hawaii County” said Robert Fenton, Regional Administrator of FEMA Region IX in Oakland. “Because of the commitment of elected officials and the floodplain manager, two benefits are realized. First is the long-term benefit of reducing future flood losses. Second is the annual financial savings to residents, through lower insurance premiums.”
The community rating system encourages and rewards communities that exceed minimum NFIP floodplain management standards. Credit points are earned for activities and initiatives that include public information, mapping and regulation, damage reduction, and flood preparedness. A classification is then assigned, based upon the credit points. As credit point steps are reached, the flood insurance premiums paid by policyholders decrease. Premium discounts of up to 45% for buildings in high-risk flood areas are possible under the community rating system.
NFIP policies are available through private insurance companies and agents. There is usually a 30-day waiting period before coverage goes into effect. For more information about flood insurance and your own flood risk, visit www.floodsmart.gov.