Office of Mayor Gavin Buckley
City of Annapolis
160 Duke of Gloucester Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Media Contact: Mitchelle Stephenson, 410-972-7724 or email@example.com
City Earns Level 7 CRS Rating to Save Homeowners on Annual Flood Insurance Premiums
Annapolis, MD (August 2, 2023) - The City of Annapolis earned a Level 7 in the latest Community Rating System (CRS) application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). CRS is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed National Flood Insurance Protection (NFIP) requirements.
As an incentive for participation, communities that participate in CRS get reduced rates on flood insurance premiums for homeowners. The discounted amount reflects the reduced risk of flooding as determined by FEMA. As a Level 7 community, the City earned between 1,500 and 1,999 points, which translates to a discount equal to 15 percent off an individual homeowner’s annual premium. These discounts will apply to most National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies issued or renewed within City limits on or after April 1, 2024.
“City staff will continue to explore how to further protect Annapolis properties from flood risk,” said Deputy City Manager for Resilience and Sustainability Jacqueline Guild. “Additional protections can qualify for greater flood insurance discounts. We will keep at it."
In Anne Arundel County, the average flood insurance premium is $771 per year. Flood insurance rates vary by flood risk (including proximity to bodies of water and flooding frequency), home type (foundation, structure, elevation), and replacement and repair costs. For example, a 15 percent discount would reduce the average cost ($771) to around $660 per year, a $115 difference.
The City of Annapolis CRS team included participants from the Department of Planning and Zoning, Office of Emergency Management, Mayor’s Office and the staff that serves the Deputy City Manager for Resilience and Sustainability. The team worked through a checklist of items that involved: flood preparedness, hazard mitigation, emergency response, and resiliency initiatives. As of 2023, the City is classified as a Level 7 which will hold for a period of five years.
Previously, the City was Level 10 (zero percent discount). As the City continues to work on hazard mitigation and resilience, there is a possibility to move up in the rankings. A Level 5 ranking can equal 25 percent off flood insurance premiums while a Level 1 can bring a 45 percent discount.
All property owners with mortgages are required to carry homeowner’s insurance; homeowners within certain federally-designated flood zones are required to carry additional flood coverage, backed by NFIP. Individual property owners are the main beneficiaries of the program by receiving discounted rates on flood insurance backed by FEMA.
Currently, only eight of the 157 municipalities in Maryland have opted to participate in CRS. Comparing Annapolis to other Maryland cities, Baltimore is a Level 5, Frederick, Oxford and Havre de Grace are all Level 7s and the town of North Beach is a Level 10.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides interactive maps to allow homeowners to view flood risk. To learn more about CRS, visit FEMA.gov.
Related to reducing flood risks, the Annapolis Office of Emergency Management recently completed the five-year update to the City’s Hazard Mitigation Plan. The 2023 update addresses how the City plans, identifies hazards and risk, develops mitigation strategies, and implements and monitors progress directed at the following environmental events: coastal hazards, flood, winter storm, high wind and thunderstorm, tornado, drought and extreme heat, earthquake, and emerging infectious diseases.
FEMA has approved the City’s updated Plan, which will be renewed again in 2028. It accounts for planning and resilience building efforts throughout City departments, including the update to the City's comprehensive plan concerning land use and social and equity concerns. The Hazard Mitigation Plan is available at https://www.annapolis.gov/2060/Hazard-Mitigation-Plan.
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