Go Green, Save Money: Looking at How New Credits Can Lower Virginians’ Flood Insurance

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Go Green, Save Money: Looking at How New Credits Can Lower Virginians’ Flood Insurance

This past summer, VCPC concluded its research on how the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Rating System (CRS) program could affect the 114,247 flood insurance policies in Virginia.

Green space is one strategy that earns points through the Community Rating System. ©VCPC

Green space is one strategy that earns points through the Community Rating System. ©VCPC

By Sydney MaHan, Student Correspondent

When it comes to flood insurance, Virginia Coastal Policy Center finds that going green can save communities money.

This past summer, VCPC concluded its research on how the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Community Rating System (CRS) program could affect the 114,247 flood insurance policies in Virginia.

CRS provides incentives for jurisdictions to implement proactive measures that reduce flood risk. The more activities a jurisdiction adopts and implements, the lower the insurance premiums for the citizens of the jurisdiction.

There are a host of activities that communities can undertake.  These include improving stormwater management, preserving open space in the floodplain, and educating local residents on flooding impacts.

Each approved activity earns the jurisdiction “credits” towards the jurisdiction’s rating.  For every 500 credits, policyholders receive a 5% discount on flood insurance.

Currently, only 5% of eligible Virginia jurisdictions participate in the program.

VCPC’s paper examines concrete ways in which Virginia jurisdictions can increase their participation in the program and benefit from two often untapped sources of CRS credits – stormwater management and open space preservation.

To learn more read the white paper at Go Green, Save Money: Lowering Flood Insurance Rates in Virginia with Stormwater Management and Open Space

An extension partner of Virginia Sea Grant, VCPC at William & Mary Law School provides policy and legal analysis to its partners on coastal resource and community issues in its mission to educate and train the future lawyers and leaders of tomorrow.