In another episode of the continuing non-reality show of “Let’s see what FEMA rules are today”, letters from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to the local island cities offices announced that buildings “having the lowest floor one foot or more below the base flood elevation will no longer be eligible for the CRS discount.”
The Community Rating System is a method of assessing cities’ overall exposure to flood damage loss. By installing adequate drainage systems and enforcing building codes to mitigate flood damage, communities can be eligible for a 5 – 45% discount for residents’ flood insurance premiums.
FEMA’s new edict beginning May 1st excludes specific properties “at high risk” and “not compliant” in the “Special Flood Hazard Area” from getting the community discount. A homeowner will discover if he is excluded when their flood insurance policy comes up for renewal – the policy will have a small zero in the CRS discount box.
But some people in older houses with ground floor living area don’t need to panic yet. Houses that were built prior to 1975 are grand-fathered in, plus there are several other exemptions from the ‘rule’.
Whatever your current structure, be it old, new, remodeled, non-conforming, grand-fathered, permitted, exempt, or other, don’t expect a notification of change to your flood coverage cost. Your first clue will be when you get your flood insurance annual renewal bill.