The Village of Wellington has received an upgraded flood rating that means residents may now qualify for a significant reduction in flood insurance premiums.
Wellington Building Official Jacek Tomasik explained that this recent change is the culmination of years of effort on behalf of the community.
“The Wellington Building Department is responsible for administration of the village’s flood damage prevention ordinance,” Tomasik said. “Beginning in 2003, the village qualified for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) and entered the program at a Class 9.”
This Class 9 rating provided a five percent discount on flood insurance premiums for properties located in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). In addition to annual recertification, the village floodplain management program is audited every five years. Prior to July 2019, there had been two such audits since 2003, and each resulted in an improved class rating.
“In 2008, we became a Class 7, and in 2014, we became a Class 6,” Tomasik said. “With each class rating improvement, the available flood insurance premium discount increases by five percent.”
Due to the most recent audit in July 2019, Wellington provided another improved rating to Class 5.
“This rating is valid for the next five years and provides a 25 percent discount on flood insurance premiums for properties located in the SFHA, and a 10 percent discount for properties outside the SFHA,” Tomasik said.
The NFIP Community Rating System recognizes, encourages and rewards community and state activities that go beyond the minimum required flood mitigations.
“The effort is to reduce and avoid flood damage to insurable property, strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP and foster comprehensive floodplain management,” Tomasik said.
The voluntary program provides for reductions of flood insurance premiums by five percent up to a maximum of 45 percent for policy holders with insurable property in flood zones located within rated communities. The communities are rated on 19 points organized under four categories: public information, mapping and regulations, flood damage reduction, and warning and response.”
The bottom line for Wellington residents is that latest discount applies to flood policies in the SFHA, which in Wellington is Zone AE. This was effective as of May 1, 2020. It may not show the discount on the flood insurance policy bill, but it is factored into the premium, which can be confirmed with the insurance agent. For policies outside of the SFHA, this class rating provides a 10 percent discount. No discounts apply for preferred risk policies, as they are already at the lowest rate.
“The preferred risk policy (PRP) is a standard flood insurance policy (SFIP) written using the Dwelling Form or General Property Form that offers low-cost coverage to owners and tenants of eligible buildings located in the moderate-risk B, C and X zones in the National Flood Insurance Program regular program communities,” Tomasik said.
In Palm Beach County, five communities share the Class 5 rating, which puts Wellington in the top 16 percent in the county. Florida wide, 260 communities participate in community rating system, with 42 members at Class 5, including Wellington. Only three communities have better ratings. Nationally, 22,000 communities participate, and Wellington is in the top 2.7 percent.