Portage residents may now qualify for greater discount on flood insurance

PORTAGE, MI — Homeowners living in a FEMA-designated floodplain area in Portage city limits could be eligible for a 15% discount on flood insurance premiums due to a recent change in the city’s flood rating.

The city was informed by FEMA recently that its National Flood Insurance Program flood rating has improved from a Class 8 to a Class 7 rating in the NFIP’s community rating system, changing discounts from 10% to 15%, according to a news release from city officials.

“These savings are a tangible result of the flood mitigation activities your community implements to protect lives and reduce property damage,” William Lesser, community rating system coordinator with the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, said in a letter to the city. “I commend you on your community actions and your determination to lead your community to be more disaster resistant.”

Lesser went on to say that the city’s commitment enhances public safety, property protection and protects the natural functions of floodplains.

The City of Portage has participated in the National Flood Insurance Program since the 1980s, enabling property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance protection against losses from flooding as standard homeowners and commercial property insurance policies do not cover flood loss.

The National Flood Insurance Program offers flood insurance to all properties in communities that comply with minimum standards for floodplain management.

Because the City of Portage has adopted and enforced a floodplain management ordinance to reduce future flood risks to new construction in special flood hazard areas, the federal government will make flood insurance available within the community as a financial protection against flood.

To qualify for Class 7 discounts, the city had to meet the following prerequisites:

• Have written construction certificate management procedures for all new and substantially improved/substantially damaged buildings.

• Inform the public of basic flood zone information from the community’s latest flood insurance rate map and offering additional flood insurance rate map information and flood depth data.

• Conduct and adopt flood studies for areas not included on the flood insurance rate maps and those that exceed minimum mapping standards.

• Preserve approximately 55% of special flood hazard areas as open space, protect open space land and preserve open space land in a natural state.

• Enforce regulations that require development limitations, freeboard for new construction and substantial improvement, foundation protection, protection of critical facilities and local drainage protection, as well as enforce building codes.

• Maintain and use additional map data in the day-to-day management of the floodplain, establish and maintain a system of benchmarks, and maintain copies of all previous flood insurance rate maps and flood insurance study reports.

• Enforce regulations for storm-water management, soil and erosion control, as well as water quality.

For more information about the National Flood Insurance Program, visit fema.gov/flood-insurance.

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