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Galveston homeowners will be able to enjoy a reduction to their flood insurance premiums beginning May 2019 thanks to the City’s active participation in the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System.Federal Emergency Management Agency has recognized that the voluntary actions undertaken by the City of Galveston has exceeded the minimum standards of the NFIP and met the criteria for a Class 6 rating.Under Galveston’s new Class 6 ranking, which will take effect in May 2019, almost 16,194 properties both inside and outside of the floodplain will receive an additional 5 percent off their flood insurance premiums. Galveston has been a Class 7 since 2014, which meant residents with flood insurance policies in Galveston are eligible to receive a reduction in their flood insurance premiums, 15 percent for those policyholders in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs), and 5 percent for those policyholders with preferred risk policies (in the X Zone). For advancing the Island to a Class 6, Galveston residents with flood insurance policies will be eligible to save 20 percent in SFHAs, and 10 percent in preferred zones, will now save 20 percent on their flood insurance policies for a yearly savings of $5.577 million.The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary program for NFIP participating communities. The intended goals of the program are to reduce flood losses; facilitate accurate insurance ratings; to promote the awareness of flood insurance.“This is more than a reduction in premiums for our residents. Participation and advancement in this program means that our staff is more knowledgeable about floodplain management and our residents are more informed about mitigation and flood insurance,” said Mayor James. D. Yarbrough. “Thanks to the incredible work of our dedicated staff, Galveston is now a safer place to live.”The Class 6 ranking recognizes Galveston’s community outreach and high regulatory standards, including requirements for new construction and ensuring compliance with the latest FEMA regulations. “Due to the collaborative efforts of City staff, property owners will have an annual savings of $5.577 million, a $1.4 million increase from four years ago,” said Galveston’s Director of Development Services Tim Tietjens. “Galveston is well on our way to a Class 5 ranking, which would mean a 25 percent increase in savings. We are working diligently to attain that by 2021 to secure even bigger insurance discounts for residents in the future.”National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies can be purchased through thousands of insurance agents nationwide. The agent who helps you with your homeowners or renter’s insurance may also be able to help you with buying flood insurance. Here is a list of participating Write Your Own (WYO) companies.If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can contact the NFIP Help Center at 800-427-4661. NFIP flood insurance policies can only be purchased for properties within communities that participate in the NFIP. For more information about the NFIP, visit FloodSmart.gov.