Sarasota County residents can continue receiving discount on flood insurance

Overall savings for property owners add up to about $7 million per year

The county’s interactive flood zone map allows a property owner to check on his or her flood zone designation. Image courtesy Sarasota County

Sarasota County has retained its Class 5 rating with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the county has announced.

That qualifies residents to receive a maximum discount of 25% per year on their National Food Insurance Program (NFIP) premiums for another three years, a county news release explains. Collectively, that annual reduction adds up to more $7 million a year, the release notes.

The county participates in the NFIP’s Community Rating System (CRS) program, Charles Walter, senior manager of the county’s Stormwater Division, explained to the County Commission in January 2019.

Through the CRS program, an audit was prepared for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as required, the recent news release says. The audit — whose results were provided to the county on April 1 — showed that the county received 3,605 community credits, the release continues. That figure was sufficient for the county to retain its Class 5 rating, the release says.

“This rating recognized Sarasota County as a safer community based on the best practices for flood prevention and activities performed beyond minimum requirements,” the release points out.

The voluntary CRS program promotes education and outreach, and it provides assistance with determination of accurate insurance ratings, the release explains.

“This savings is a tangible result of the flood mitigation activities your community implements to protect lives and reduce property damage,” said the letter from FEMA, in which it announced the county’s results.

“The county has taken many steps to reduce flood loss in the community since 1992,” the release points out. It has successfully maintained a Class 5 rating in the CRS program since 2007, the release adds.

“Rainy season and hurricane season are just around the corner,” the release notes. “Now is the time to consider purchasing flood insurance for ‘peace of mind,’” it adds.

“Anywhere it rains it can flood,” Sarasota County Public Utilities Stormwater Community Rating System Specialist Donna Bailey said in the release. “Sarasota County is proud of the work that goes into maintaining this rating, making the community safer and bringing a financial savings to our citizens,” she added in the release.

For more information about flood zones and flood insurance, a person may call the county Contact Center at 861-5000.