Sultan residents with property in flood risk zones are eligible for a 20 percent discount in their flood insurance premiums. The discount is due to the city’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS), a voluntary program aimed at reducing flood damage.
Developed to offer incentive for communities to exceed minimum floodplain management requirements, CRS utilizes a class rating system in which a community’s rating equates to a percentage discount. Communities generally enter the program with a Class 9 or Class 8 rating, and as they engages in efforts to implement increased flood protection activities, the rating goes down. The lower the rating, the larger the discount to community members.
Participating communities are required to maintain inclusion in the program by completing an annual recertification process through the Insurance Services Office (ISO). Additionally, CRS communities must undergo a rigorous audit process conducted by ISO floodplain specialists every five years.
The audit includes in-depth review of city documentation during which an ISO floodplain specialist works side-by-side with city staff.
Over the years, the city of Sultan has effectively bolstered its flood damage reduction strategies to achieve a Class 6 rating, which equates to a 20 percent discount for residents in flood risk zones. The city has participated in the CRS program for 15 years, and is one of 26 communities in the state of Washington with a rating of Class 6 or lower.
During the five-year audit, also known as a CRS cycle verification visit, a community must earn its ability to retain its existing rating. This year marked the city’s third cycle verification visit, an extensive, several-month process that began in May.
In December, it received notification of its successful retention of its Class 6 rating.
The city engages in numerous activities meant to achieve and retain its Class 6 rating, including maintenance of elevation certificates, flood information outreach, hazard disclosure, floodplain management information, preservation of open space in special flood hazard areas, effective stormwater management, repetitive loss mitigation and more.
Each different activity earns the city an allotment of points. Points from each different activity category are then totaled to determine the rating.
Flood insurance is required on mortgaged properties located in special flood hazard areas, and must be purchased through an insurance agent participating in the NFIP. A homeowner should confirm the city’s Class 6 rating with their insurance agent, to ensure that they are receiving the appropriate discount. Homeowners outside flood hazard areas, while not required to have flood insurance, are eligible for a 10 percent discount should they opt to purchase flood coverage as a precautionary measure.
Click here to review the CRS fact sheet.
For more information about the National Flood Insurance Program, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.