New Castle, DE – County Executive Matt Meyer announced today that New Castle County has secured a 20% discount to help offset rising flood insurance rates for property owners who purchase coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program. These savings become effective starting this May as property owners renew their annual flood insurance policies.
“New Castle County’s effective flood management practices have secured insurance discounts that will save property owners $250,000 every year,” County Executive Matt Meyer said. “These efforts protect the environment and improve water quality, reducing property damage and keeping all of us safer during flood events. They also help our communities adapt to the growing impacts of climate change.”
New Castle County secured the flood insurance discount by participating in the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System, a voluntary incentive program that rewards communities for local mitigation and floodplain management policies and outreach efforts that exceed minimum national requirements. Out of 22,000 communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program, New Castle County is among only 5% (1,400 communities) of communities that participate in the Community Rating System.
Community Rating System communities receive a score on a scale from 1 to 9, and each score below 10 reduces flood insurance premiums by five percent. New Castle County recently achieved a score of 6, which provides a 20% discount in flood insurance rates for structures located within the Special Flood Hazard Area – a federal designation that identifies properties where flood insurance is required. New Castle County’s previous score of 8 had provided a 10% discount in flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Additionally, as a result of this new score, local flood insurance policies for structures located outside the boundaries of the Special Flood Hazard Area will benefit from a 10% discount.
New Castle County’s improved CRS score is driven by the substantial amount (42%) of land in flood prone areas that are protected from development as public and privately-owned open space as well as county legislative action to strengthen the county’s floodplain regulations. This legislative action includes:
- a prohibition on creating new building lots or constructing structures within the floodplain,
- requiring structures built adjacent to the floodplain to be constructed with the lowest floor at least 18-inches above the base flood elevation, and
- requiring additional buffering setbacks for structures located near a floodplain
“We are pleased to participate in the federal Community Rating System program and are extremely proud to see our rating improve” said Richard Hall, AICP, General Manager of the Department of Land Use. “This rating improvement not only saves affected property owners a considerable sum of money, but also reconfirms New Castle County’s commitment to administering floodplain management programs and stormwater system guidelines in an environmentally prudent manner.”
New Castle County’s participation in the CRS is managed by professional engineers in the Department of Land Use, in conjunction with the county’s Office of Emergency Management.
The Community Rating System is managed by the National Flood Insurance Program, a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Learn more about flood insurance and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by contacting your insurance agent or visit https://www.floodsmart.gov. Learn more about the Community Rating System (CRS) at https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program-community-rating-system. Review information about flood insurance and flood protection on the New Castle County website at https://www.nccde.org/DocumentCenter/View/1864/Flood-Insurance-Information?bidId= and https://www.nccde.org/1425/Flood-Protection.
Contact: Jason Miller, Director of Communications, 302-545-1462