An improved rating within the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) achieved by Currituck County could lead to discounted flood insurance premiums for property owners. The Currituck County Planning & Inspections Department received notice that the county’s score in the NFIP’s Community Rating System has been upgraded from an 8 to a new score of 6.
The National Flood Insurance Program is offered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and provides federally backed flood insurance in communities that have enforced floodplain regulations. Currituck County includes floodplain management regulations in the Unified Development Ordinance. The county’s participation in the NFIP is a benefit to local property owners because traditional homeowners’ insurance does not cover damages caused by floods.
The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary aspect of NFIP that allows communities to achieve flood insurance premium discounts by meeting certain criteria at the local level. CRS communities are rated from a 10 to 1, with 1 being the best rating. A Class 6 community receives a 20% discount for all policies in its Special Flood Hazard Areas.
Communities are rewarded by meeting the three goals of CRS: reduce flood damage to insurable property; strengthen and support the insurance aspects of NFIP; and encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.
Currituck County spends considerable time and effort to meet annual CRS rating standards and is subject to regular five-year reviews. Staff from Planning & Inspections, Emergency Management, Inspections, GIS, Public Information, and County Manager’s office contribute to the overall mission. The Board of Commissioners play a role by adopting certain regulations related to development and mitigation. The county also partners with the Nature Conservancy to calculate percentages of property identified as open space.
Major items that have helped to improve Currituck’s score include the county’s preservation of open space in land development, enforcing higher regulatory standards for development in special flood hazard areas, and adopting of the Outer Banks Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan. Additional action items include maintaining elevation certificates, delivering informational outreach projects, meeting state regulations on flood hazard disclosures, making flood protection information available to the public, floodplain mapping, analyzing repetitive losses, and addressing the growth rate of the county.