Pinellas earns improved Class 3 CRS rating from National Flood Insurance Program
Pinellas County Government has earned an improved Community Rating System (CRS) rating from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The new Class 3 rating will provide unincorporated Pinellas County property owners and renters up to a 35 percent discount on flood insurance premiums beginning Oct. 1, 2021.
At the time of the announcement, a CRS Class 3 is the highest rating a Florida community has ever achieved. The new rating will make Pinellas County one of two communities in Florida to be rated a Class 3, with the County now in the top one percent of CRS communities nationwide. The new Class 3 rating—up from a 25 percent discount and a Class 5 rating—is projected to provide more than $7.9 million per year in annual savings on flood insurance premiums for unincorporated areas of the county.
In communities that participate in the CRS program, flood insurance premiums are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community’s floodplain best management efforts.
Pinellas County’s floodplain management efforts include:
- Preservation of floodplains, like Brooker Creek Preserve
- Improving flood risk mapping and floodplain development standards that address local flood risk and conditions
- Drainage system maintenance, including checking hot spot areas before and after significant storms to ensure conveyances are clear and perform as designed
- Expansion of the Program for Public Information membership across municipalities in the county and development of activities, such as the online Flood Map Service and the Real Estate Flood Disclosure Program.
FEMA is also rolling out a new rating methodology, called Risk Rating 2.0, that will affect all new flood insurance policies in Pinellas County and may affect renewals of existing policies. Existing policy holders that will renew their policies between Oct. 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022 should contact their flood insurance agent for a rating comparison to ensure they receive the best premium.
Pinellas County continues to encourage property owners to know their risk for flooding and to contact their insurance agent to purchase flood insurance and understand what is covered. For more information, call the National Flood Insurance Program Help Center at 1-800-427-4661 or visit the FEMA Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate (OFIA) at www.fema.gov/flood-insurance/advocate. Pinellas County residents can also contact a Flood Insurance Advocate by visiting bit.ly/PinellasFloodAdvocates for more information. To learn more about flooding, visit www.pinellascounty.org/flooding.