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City cuts flood insurance costs

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POSTED: August 8, 2013 1:30 p.m.
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FEMA ISO/CRS specialist Sue Hopfensperger presents a National Flood Insurance Program certificate to Hinesville city officials July 9 at city hall.

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It doesn’t take much to cause a flood. A few inches of rain may be all it takes to cause some damage.
Several local agencies have documented floodplain-management tasks and spread the word to residents about flood protection.
In 2012, the city of Hinesville voluntarily began participating in a FEMA program administered by the Insurance Services Office to improve floodplain-management services that result in savings to residents. The program offers relief in the form of flood-insurance-premium discounts.
After completing the Community Rating System application through the National Flood Insurance Program, Hinesville received a rating of 7, which results in a 5 to 15 percent savings for more than 600 policy holders in Hinesville.
“You are meeting the national average and beating the state average,” ISO/CRS specialist Sue Hopfensperger said during a July 9 presentation to Hinesville officials. “It isn’t just about saving money. It’s about saving lives and saving property.”
The national average is 7, while the average CRS score in Georgia is 8.
“Participating in this program prepares us for flooding and makes us more resilient after a flood,” Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas said. “This speaks well of the people that worked well together to make this city great and put money back in the pockets of citizens.”
Some residents may be under the misconception that they are ineligible for flood insurance because of where they live or their mortgage status. As long as the home is in an NFIP community such as Hinesville, most homeowners, business owners and renters can get flood insurance.
“The city of Hinesville is grateful for the leadership of our mayor and council along with the coordination of Matthew Barrow, who is an engineer with the firm of P.C. Simonton & Association, and Steve Welborn, our director of inspection, for acquiring $68,163 in savings for our citizens,” City Manager Billy Edwards said.
As of May 1, the percent savings is automatically deducted from flood-insurance premiums for those within Hinesville city limits. Residents can check their home-insurance declarations page or ask their insurance agents to check for the discount.

 

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