Harwich Resiliency Efforts Lower Flood Insurance Premiums
For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Shannon Hulst CFM, Deputy Director, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension Floodplain Specialist & CRS Coordinator
(Barnstable, MA – April 28, 2020) — The Town of Harwich’s advanced floodplain management efforts will net its residents a 15 percent reduction in their flood insurance premiums. This represents an additional 5 percent savings for residents through town resiliency measures encouraged by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). To earn this discount, the Town received assistance from the County’s regional Community Rating System management program.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) oversees the NFIP, which administers a program called the Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities by towns that exceed minimum NFIP requirements. As a member of the Community Rating System, Harwich is within an elite group of 25 Massachusetts communities that have received this recognition. On the Cape, nine communities participate in the CRS. (For a list of the other communities and their discounts, visit https://www.capecodextension.org/coastalprocesses/coastalflooding/#CRS.)
With the additional steps taken by Harwich to protect citizens and increase resiliency, FEMA advanced the Town’s standing in the Community Rating System to a Class 7, effective May 1, 2020. The Class 7 rating qualifies eligible National Flood Insurance Program policyholders in the Town to receive a 15% discount on their annual flood insurance premiums for an average of $345 in annual savings. Savings are reflected directly on flood insurance bills. In total, participation in the program accounts for a community-wide savings of nearly $95,000 annually for citizens of Harwich.
[su_quote]Shannon Hulst, the regional CRS Coordinator for Barnstable County, says, “A Class 7 rating takes a lot of hard work and dedication on the part of community staff. Harwich residents should be proud of the work their Town has done and continues to do to protect them from flooding and increase flood insurance savings.”[/su_quote]
Barnstable County’s regional Community Rating System management program with Cape Cod Cooperative Extension/Woods Hole Sea Grant helps towns get into and stay in the CRS. Since the program’s creation in 2015, the County has helped save Cape Cod policyholders in nine different towns over $1.3 million in flood insurance costs. For more on the regional program, visit https://www.capecodextension.org/coastalprocesses/coastalflooding/
For information about flood insurance, property owners should contact their insurance agent, visit floodsmart.gov, or call the NFIP’s toll-free information line at 800-427-4661.
To learn more about the CRS, visit https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-rating-system.
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