Discount on Flood Insurance Rates
As of October 1, 2016, all flood insurance policy holders in Key West will receive a discount on their rates. FEMA - which administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) approved the discount, which will affect the nearly 8,000 policy holders in the city and collectively save policy holders $1.5 million annually.
The discount is the result of six years of painstaking work, which included a major revamping of the building permitting and inspection process, so the City could demonstrate it’s exceeding the basic requirements necessary to participate in the flood insurance program and worthy of this discount for its citizens.
Remarks from Scott Fraser
While this is much welcomed news, City FEMA Coordinator Scott Fraser said,
it doesn’t necessarily mean everyone’s insurance bill will be less than it was the year before. However, those bills will be 15% lower than they otherwise would have been. With flood insurance costs typically increasing about 18 to 25% per year, we’ll now have a relief from most of those increases, Fraser said.
Community Rating System Discount
Fraser has worked diligently with FEMA to bring the community into compliance with FEMA standards, and in February FEMA acknowledged the City’s eligibility for the Community Rating System (CRS) discount. The City immediately filed its CRS application, the results of which FEMA is announcing on Monday.
Local stakeholder groups, such Fair Insurance Rates for Monroe (FIRM) and the Key West Association of Realtors used their respective roles to help the City earn the 1,500 CRS points need to obtain this discount for our community. The State Office of Floodplain Management staff in Tallahassee assisted City staff all along the way, especially helping the City prove to FEMA that Key West was now in compliance and eligible for a CRS discount.
Current Amount Paid for Flood Insurance Policies
There are currently 7,657 active flood insurance policies within the city, with an average cost of $1,551 per policy. Key West property owners pay $10.8 million annually for flood insurance through the NFIP administered by FEMA.
The average policy holder will likely save about $233, which collectively will save the community $1.5 million annually. City staff are already at work on a new application aimed at improving its CRS ranking even more, with an eye to additional savings next year. The City is also working with Monroe County and other local municipalities on a combined CRS effort, to pool its resources so all may benefit from even greater policy savings.
This savings comes on the heels of the Key West Fire Department’s successful efforts to reduce fire insurance premiums by getting the City reclassified as a Class 1 ISO (Insurance Services Office) community.
Flood Insurance Statistics
The CRS What-If chart from FEMA shows the flood insurance statistics for Key West, and opportunity for reduced flood insurance costs. Key West is advancing from a CRS Class 10 rating to a Class 7.