Norfolk residents may see a discount on flood insurance policies. Here’s why

Flooding from storm waters in the Ghent section of Norfolk, Colonial Avenue near 21st Street (Joshua Weinstein/Southside Daily)
Flooding from storm waters in the Ghent section of Norfolk, Colonial Avenue near 21st Street
(Southside Daily file photo)

NORFOLK — The city is one of 290 communities in Virginia voluntarily participating in the National Flood Insurance Program through the FEMA, city officials said in a news release.

Norfolk’s ongoing efforts in resilience and flood management have earned the city a Community Rating System classification of Class 7, meaning residents receive a 15 percent premium discount on NFIP flood insurance policies in Special Flood Hazard Areas and qualifies each NFIP policyholder for an average annual premium savings of $168, officials said.

Thirteen of Virginia’s 26 participating communities are ranked Class 7 or better.

There are nearly 7,000 policies in the city that would qualify for the 15 percent discount, officials said.

Additionally, policies in the non-SFHA zones receive a 5 percent annual premium discount.

Overall, a Class 7 rating results in a total savings of $1,149,293 annually for Norfolk residents, officials said.

Throughout the U.S., there are more than 22,000 communities participating in the NFIP, officials noted.

To join and remain in the NFIP, each community must meet certain minimum criteria.

A small number of participating communities, approximately 9 percent in Virginia, choose to go beyond those minimum requirements by joining the CRS Program.

That additional effort produces activities that result in safer communities that are more prepared for future flooding events, including community outreach and education, higher regulatory standards and open space preservation, officials said.

The CRS Program includes 10 class rating levels based on the number and type of activities voluntarily initiated by the participating community.

Each level corresponds to a percentage discount on NFIP policy premiums within the locality.

The city encourages all residents to have flood insurance as floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster, causing millions of dollars in damage each year, officials said.

Many homeowner and renter policies do not cover flood damage.

To find out more about the National Flood Insurance Program, including interactive tools and FAQs, click here.

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