County of Marin - News Releases - Flood Insurance Rates

For Immediate Release
November 13, 2017

County’s Flood Insurance Rating Improves

Residents in unincorporated areas to receive additional 5% discount starting May 2018

San Rafael, CA – Homeowners in unincorporated areas of Marin County soon will save an additional five percent annually – an average of $106 – on their National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies courtesy of flood mitigation and awareness measures by the Marin County Department of Public Works (DPW) over the past 18 months.

A car is shown on a Belvedere driveway nearly up to its windows in floodwater.Marin County was devastated by floods in winter 1982-83, prompting the county to join the National Flood Insurance Program.

Following the County’s improved rating, earned last month, all 2,040 NFIP policyholders in unincorporated areas of Marin will see the new premium discount take effect in May 2018, when the new insurance cycle begins. NFIP policy holders living in a floodplain (categorized by NFIP as a Special Flood Hazard Area) will see their premium discount go from 15 percent to 20 percent, and those living outside of a floodplain will have their discount go from five percent to 10 percent. The discount is applied automatically to policy premiums as they are renewed starting in May 2018.

For the typical Marin homeowner with an average annual $2,117 premium, the estimated savings for those living in a floodplain would go from $317.55 to $423.40. For those living outside the floodplain, the average discount would go from $105.85 to $211.70.

Marin County joined the NFIP in March 1982, a few months after one of the most devastating local floods of the 20th century, which claimed the lives of three residents and caused $30 million (not adjusted for inflation) in Marin County public infrastructure damages. Joining the federal effort enabled residents to partake in the federal flood insurance program that serves more than 22,000 communities nationwide.

NFIP allows communities to voluntarily enter their Community Rating System (CRS), an incentive program that encourages floodplain management activities that exceed the minimal NFIP requirements. The CRS program ranks communities on a scale of one to 10, with one being the gold standard with the highest insurance discounts. More than 75 percent the nation’s CRS participants fall in the seven to 10 range. Marin County enrolled in the CRS program in May 2016 at a rank of seven but has now been elevated to six. The only community in the nation that has achieved the top rank is Roseville, California.

To accomplish the reclassification, Marin DPW addressed a wide range of categories that are assessed by the CRS program. Analysis, fine-tuning and improved reporting was necessary for categories such as building permits, stormwater system requirements, construction regulations, public resources and outreach, floodplain studies, open space restoration, flood infrastructure maintenance, waterway maintenance protocols, and several other areas of interest. DPW must recertify every year to qualify for the CRS discounts.

To learn more about flood insurance, check the DPW's informational webpage. For information on Marin’s flood mitigation efforts and the region’s eight unique watersheds on the Marin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District webpage.

Contact:

Eric Steger
Assistant Director
Public Works

3501 Civic Center Drive
Suite 304
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-2754
Email: Eric Steger
Public Works website