Homeowners will get discount on flood insurance | RecordCourier.com

Homeowners will get discount on flood insurance

by Andy Bourelle

Douglas County residents who live in a flood plain will be getting a discount on their flood insurance rates, effective April 1.

Douglas County Community Development Director Bob Nunes said the county received official notification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) March 10 that residents would receive a flood insurance discount. For FEMA’s use, areas are categorized by the Insurance Services Office (ISO), which re-evaluated Douglas County in November 1997. On a scale of one to 10, with one being the best, the county moved from a class of eight to seven.

County residents receive a 15 percent discount on flood insurance, a 5 percent improvement from a 10 percent discount received at class eight.

The discount comes as a result of improvements the county has made in how flood emergencies are prepared for and handled, and Nunes said the county is pleased with the change.

“We’re kind of excited about it. I’m very pleased,” Nunes said. “It shows we’re taking a proactive approach, trying to do a lot of things to benefit the citizens of Douglas County.”

Not only do the actions taken improve the insurance rates, Nunes said, they also help to prevent floods and to minimize the impact if one is to occur.

ISO reviewed all activities related to flood emergencies, including the county’s flood map information, emergency outreach programs, drainage maintenance and more. With the better categorization comes more county regulations, Nunes said, and it sometimes becomes difficult to regulate because there needs to be a “fine balance” between helping residents and just “telling them, ‘you can’t do that.'” Therefore, educating residents is an important part of the process.

Although progress has been made, Nunes said the county intends to continue making improvements. ISO returns every few years to re-evaluate an area.

A category six would result in a 20 percent decrease; a category one would result in a 45 percent decrease.

“It’s a goal,” Nunes said. “It’s a target – to strive to get better and better each time.”

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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