Menlo Park releases hazard mitigation progress report; FEMA changes flood insurance pricing

by Contributed Content on August 2, 2021

The City of Menlo Park has been recognized for performing floodplain management activities above and beyond the minimum requirements for the National Flood Insurance Program. These activities and the city’s participation in the Community Rating System program allow the city to earn discounted flood insurance rates for our community.

By following the guidelines from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Menlo Park earns a CRS credit. As the community earns a higher CRS credit, residents are eligible for greater flood insurance discounts. Menlo Park’s current CRS rating of 8 provides property owners in flood zones A / AE with a 10 percent discount on flood insurance premiums. Property owners in flood zone X are entitled to a 5 percent premium discount.

As part of the CRS certification process, the City prepares an annual progress report on our hazard mitigation plan objective to promote a more flood safe community. The 2021 annual progress report is available for review at menlopark.org/flooding.

Also, starting August 1, insurance agents can begin quoting new flood insurance rates using FEMA’s modernized methodology that more accurately ties National Flood Insurance Program rates to the flood risks of individual properties.

Known as “Risk Rating 2.0,” this is the first significant update to the NFIP rating methodology in almost 50 years and affects flood insurance policies effective Oct. 1, 2021, for new NFIP policyholders and existing policyholders who opt in to take advantage of immediate premium decreases. All other existing policyholders will receive the new rates at the time their policy renews.

Under Risk Rating 2.0, approximately 40% of Menlo Park policyholders will receive a monthly flood insurance premium decrease. Another 51% of local policyholders will receive an increase of less than $10 per month.

Nationally, 23% of policyholders will realize a monthly premium decrease and 66% will receive an increase less than $10 per month.

Realtors should be aware that prospective buyers can get updated flood insurance rate quotes starting Aug. 1. This can often help determine true homeownership costs and allows lenders to determine the cost of a “mandatory purchase” flood insurance policy earlier in the loan underwriting process. Insurance agents also have access to a “rating engine” to use in providing flood insurance rate quotes.

The new system uses FEMA and federally sourced data, commercially available third-party data, cost to rebuild, distance to coast/ocean/river, stream order or river class, flood type (fluvial/pluvial), ground elevation, first floor height, construction type/foundation type and a broader range of flood frequencies.

InMenlo file photo (c) 2016

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