June 1 marked the beginning of hurricane season. As coastal Georgia begins to prepare for the worst of Mother Nature, residents of Glynn County will be glad to know that their flood insurance premiums might come at a lower cost for them.
The Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently determined that Glynn County has advanced from a Class 7 to a Class 6 in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS).
NFIP is a government program that aims to minimize the impact of flooding on communities by providing affordable flood insurance to property owners and encouraging communities to regulate floodplain development.
Communities like Glynn County, which have been a longtime participant in the program, are assigned a CRS classification from 1-9, with lower scores awarded to communities which exhibit excellent floodplain management.
This reclassification means that homeowners in the county will see an additional five percent discount on premiums issued or renewed after May 1. With this discount, the county has reduced flood insurance policy premiums overall by 20 percent.
Flooding that resulted from Hurricanes Matthew and Irma presented unique challenges for homeowners in the county.
“Many houses around here were built in the 1950s during a time where flood regulations were different than today,” said Pamela Thompson, Director of Community Development. “So, when they are damaged now, it’s difficult to get in compliance.”
But despite our prime real estate for disaster, Glynn County still managed to impress FEMA this time around, achieving high scores in the several different categories of the triennial field verifications that are used to determine the CRS score and are performed by the county.
“It was important to enforce flood regulations, and to not provide variances,” Thompson said.
Thompson also noted that the new score is also the result of the county providing ample information to the public about flood regulations and protections in the form of pamphlets, meetings and general outreach programs.
While many might see their premiums go down this season, the CRS discount won’t apply to everyone in the county.
Residents with preferred risk policies, applicable in zones B, C and X on the NFIP Flood Insurance Rate Map, are not eligible for the discount. Zones B and C are not on the Glynn County Flood Map since these classifications have to do with the presence of levees. These policies generally apply to the X areas, which are more likely to experience flood damage.
Those with standard insurance policies situated in zones B, C, X, AR and A99 only are limited to a 10 percent discount based on the county’s new Class 6 rating.
Barring any noncompliance actions, Glynn County’s Class 6 rating will be renewed annually.