Some St. Augustine Property Owners Could See Drop In Flood Insurance Rates

Oct 24, 2019

St. Augustine homeowners and other property owners in the city may qualify for 25% cheaper flood insurance premiums.

That’s because St. Augustine has been upgraded from class 7 to 5 under FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS).

The CRS is a voluntary program that rewards communities with lower flood insurance rates if they go beyond the National Flood Insurance Program’s minimum standards for reducing flood risk.

"A lot of staff people played a role in this achievement, but I especially want to recognize Richard Schauland, the city's Building Official, who serves as the city's CRS Coordinator," said City Manager John Regan. "His extensive knowledge of local and state building codes and close attention to FEMA's community rating system benefits our community in many ways. This insurance rate adjustment is one very real and tangible benefit for property owners in the city."

In a letter to St. Augustine, FEMA pointed to 15 steps the city took to improve its rating, like public outreach, higher building code standards, and improving drainage.

"I commend you on your community actions and your determination to lead your community to be more disaster resistant," wrote William H. Lesser, CRS Coordinator for the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, in his letter to Regan. "This commitment enhances public safety, property protection, and protects the natural functions of floodplains, and reduces flood insurance premiums."

St. Augustine’s new class 5 rating will stand for a three year period.

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.