Denham Springs earns discount on federal flood insurance; decrease to start Oct. 1 | Livingston/Tangipahoa

DENHAM SPRINGS — Property owners in Denham Springs who subscribe to federal flood insurance policies will see a 10% discount in their insurance premiums after Oct. 1, following a recent positive verification of the city’s Community Rating System field verification.

Mayor Gerard Landry was notified Sept. 17 that the National Flood Insurance Program had reviewed its earlier findings based on a five-year verification system and that the results were the lowering of the flood insurance premiums.

The notification read in part, “Congratulations! The Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, has determined that the City of Denham Springs will increase to a Class 8 in the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System. The floodplain management activities implemented by your community qualify it for a 10 percent discount on flood insurance premiums for NFIP policies issued or renewed in special Flood Hazard Areas on or after Oct. 1.”

The communication continued, “This savings is a tangible result of the flood mitigation activities your community implements to protect lives and reduce property damage.”

Landry said evaluations by the NFIP is an ongoing process, and the city has expended considerable effort to earn the Class 8 level of NFIP ratings.

“Our staff has to work with a huge manual of instructions on how to deal with the problems associated with potential flooding,” Landry said. “This is a complicated process that involves flood elevations, drainage systems, requirements in the building codes, flood remediation efforts and a host of other things that we do to mitigate the possible effects of flooding. It is a tribute to our staff that we have earned the Class 8 level of flood insurance premiums,” Landry said.

Landry said, after the flood of August 2016, Denham Springs was elevated to a Class 9 rating. But through the city’s efforts, the rating has reverted back to Class 8.

“We are already working on eventually earning a Class 7 rating, which will result in another lower adjustment of the flood insurance premiums,” Landry said.

He estimated that about 30% of property owners in the city have flood insurance and that every savings is a positive step for those who have to pay for the insurance.

The CRS rating for Denham Springs will automatically be renewed annually for as long as there are no NFIP noncompliance actions. The annual renewal will take place as long as the city continues to implement the CRS activities and submits recertification documentation on a regular basis.

The notice of the rate change was issued by William H. Leser, CRS coordinator for the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration.

Leser wrote to the mayor, “I commend you on your community action and your determination to lead your community to be more disaster resistant. This commitment enhances public safely, property protection, and protects the natural functions of flood plains, and reduces flood insurance premiums.”

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