Much of Key West flooded during Hurricane Wilma in 2005. An estimated 8,000 Key West property owners will see substantial savings in their flood insurance as of Oct. 1. NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE/Contributed

Some 8,000 Key West property owners will see substantial savings in their flood insurance, come Oct. 1. 

FEMA announced it has awarded the City of Key West a greater savings to flood insurance costs by increasing the current 15% discount to 25% for most of the city’s 8,000 policy holders.  

Communitywide, this will result in an annual savings of $3.3 million. The average savings is expected to be $494 per policy.  

“This is great news for our residents,” said Mayor Teri Johnston, “thanks to the hard work and diligence of our FEMA Coordinator Scott Fraser with the assistance of the Key West Association of Realtors and FIRM (Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe).” 

This multi-year effort convinced FEMA the increased discount should be awarded under its Community Ratings System (CRS). 

For flood insurance policies renewed after Oct. 1, a line at the bottom of most bills should read “CRS Discount 25%.”  Most flood policies already discounted for buildings located outside a regulated flood zone – known as Preferred Risk Policies – aren’t eligible for additional CRS discounts. 

FEMA’s proposed new flood maps would move some 2,000 buildings into a flood zone that aren’t within one now. In those instances, the CRS discount will increase from no discount to 25%. The city and FIRM are conducting an in-depth analysis of FEMA’s proposed new flood maps with an eye toward possible appeals.  

FEMA first awarded the current 15% CRS discount on Oct. 1, 2016.  

CRS scores are based on activities such as: maintaining a ratio of open undeveloped land, having flood certificates and a wealth of flood information available online, emergency warning and response systems, compliance with Substantial Improvement/Damage requirements (known as the 50 percent rule), maintaining detailed permitting records, and sending flood fact flyers to residents annually, providing flood zone information to potential property buyers, along with ongoing stormwater management and drainage maintenance.

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