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Flood Insurance Rates to Drop with Improved Community Flood Rating

Albany property owners with homes or businesses in areas prone to flooding will see their flood insurance premiums go down since the City of Albany’s flood insurance rating has improved.

The City of Albany joined the national Community Rating System program in 1991. The voluntary program recognizes community floodplain management activities that exceed minimum requirements set by the National Flood Insurance Program, which sets rates for flood insurance on structures that are built in a floodplain. In communities that exceed those minimum requirements, flood insurance premiums are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk that results from the community actions.

Albany joined the Community Rating System program in 1991 at a classification level of 9. The rating improved to Class 7 in 2005, Class 6 in 2011, and, as of October 1, 2017, Class 5. The improved rating is based on 18 activities, including information about flood risk, protection and management, including maps and elevation certificates; disclosing hazards; public outreach; preserving open space; promoting flood insurance; managing stormwater; flood warning and response; maintaining drainage systems; and the City’s Building Division achieving a Building Code Effectiveness Grade of 2/2, which is a prerequisite for a Class 5 rating.

Flood insurance premiums for residents in special flood hazard areas in a Class 5 community automatically receive up to a 25% discount. In the City of Albany, the average annual savings from that discount is about $400 per insurance policy or $62,000 for the community every year.

Approximately 1,500 communities in the United States, 34 of them in Oregon, participate in the CRS program. Albany is one of three Oregon cities with Class 5 ratings, the best in the state. Salem achieved Class 5 rating on October 1, 2016, and Corvallis received the rating May 1, 2017. Recertification is due annually and audits are due every three years; the next audit will occur in 2019.