Standard homeowners and commercial property insurance policies do not cover flood losses, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP offers reasonably priced flood insurance to all properties in communities that comply with minimum standards for floodplain management. The NFIP’s Community Rating System (CRS) credits community efforts beyond those minimum standards by reducing flood insurance premiums for the community’s property owners. The CRS is similar to—but separate from—the private insurance industry’s programs that grade communities on the effectiveness of their fire suppression and building code enforcement efforts. The County updates their plan every five years to maintain its status as a Class 2 community, which grants residents of Pierce County a 40% reduction in flood insurance costs.
Pierce County is one of only four counties in the nation to be a Class 2 or better, which is shared by our neighbors King and Thurston County. Every South Puget Sound community that participates in the CRS program currently receives between a 20 to 40 percent discount on NFIP flood insurance and all area communities are encouraged to join.