Brick residents will soon receive a dose of relief from their flood insurance premiums after the township was accepted into the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Ratings System.
The CRS program was an early goal of Mayor John Ducey’s administration, but the process of joining – engineering studies, public hearings and contacting hundreds of homeowners – took several years. In exchange for the township’s work, residents will see an average of $200 annual savings on their flood insurance premiums.
The township was recently notified by FEMA’s Insurance Services Office that they have verified enough credits for Brick to enter into the program as CRS Class 6. This will translate to cumulative savings of $671,948 on flood insurance premiums for township residents.
“The original thought was that we’d get into the program at a two or three, but we got in at a class six,” said Ducey.
FEMA rates municipalities on a scale of one through 10, with 10 meaning flood insurance rates are 100 percent reduced. No city in America is rated class 10.
“It’s direct relief for people who pay flood insurance,” Ducey said.
Implemented in 1990 as a voluntary program for recognizing and encouraging community floodplain management activities that exceed national standards, CRS offers discounted rates to communities that “take a number of steps to reduce flood damage to insurable properties, strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP and encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management,” a statement said.
The township conducted engineering studies of Brick’s flood risk and produced large reports on how to reduce the risk in the future. Township staff contacted the owners of 665 non-compliant structures in Brick Township, hosted workshops to provide assistance on mitigation of non-compliant structures, and conducted field inspections to encourage compliance as required in order for the township to be eligible for the program.
“This has been a long road. There have been many steps,” said Ducey. “I really credit our staff with putting in such an amazing effort.”
Ducey said the township will continue looking at ways to earn more points in the CRS system so residents can save even more money in the future.