Property owners across Colorado Springs are paying 25 percent less in flood insurance premiums because the city has kept its high rating in the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System.
The city announced it has earned a Class 5 rating for the second straight year, working in cooperation with the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.
The rating places the city in the top 10 percent of participating communities and equates to lower flood insurance premiums for thousands of structures in Colorado Springs.
“This continued recognition is one of the early benefits of the voter-approved Stormwater Enterprise, which is making a tangible difference in protecting our community and our downstream neighbors from flooding,” Mayor John Suthers said.
“The Stormwater Enterprise, as well as PPRBD, deserve great praise for so effectively addressing long-standing stormwater issues and for so quickly showing measurable improvement in service to our residents.”
About 4,000 structures in Colorado Springs are covered by flood insurance. Of those, around half will benefit from the city’s participation and class 5 rating, saving property owners approximately $500,000 in premium reductions each year.
The CRS is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes communities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.
The CRS program was developed to provide incentives in the form of insurance premium discounts for communities that exceed the minimum flood plain management requirements and develop extra measures to provide protection from flooding.
The CRS program rates a community from 1 to 10, with 1 being the highest rating possible. In 2017, combined efforts of the floodplain division of the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department (PPRBD) and the city of Colorado Springs to reduce flood risk and increase risk awareness resulted in a CRS classification rating adjustment for 2018 from a 6 to a 5.
According to FEMA, 1,500 communities participate in the CRS. Fewer than 140 have achieved a rating of 5 or better, putting the City of Colorado Springs in the top 10 percent nationally.
Pikes Peak Regional Building Department Floodplain Administrator Keith Curtis said the CRS ranking improvement reflects a great deal of hard work and coordination among the building department, numerous city departments and Colorado Springs Utilities. Each advancement in class represents a 5 percent decrease in premiums.
“It is a great example of how we are all working together to improve storm water management and reduce flood risk,” Curtis said. “The CRS rating of 5 helped to lower flood insurance premiums by 25 percent throughout the community.”