BERKELEY – Shore homeowners will see a discount in their flood insurance rates as Berkeley has improved their flood management program in town.
This discount applies to the roughly 2,700 homeowners that have flood insurance policies, Mayor Carmen Amato said. Berkeley residents’ flood insurance policies are going down another 5 percent, to a total discount of 25 percent. These discounts will start May 1.
The mayor said the average Berkeley Township flood policy holder’s total discount will now average $189. Township-wide, the nearly 2,700 policy holders will receive nearly $500,000 in discounts.
The National Flood Insurance Program is run by the federal government. It also creates a Community Rating System. A town is rated on how they prepare and respond to floods. These changes fall into categories like public information; mapping and regulations; flood damage reduction; and warning and response.
If a town goes above and beyond the federal recommendations, the town’s residents get a discount on insurance.
“We are extremely proud of our ongoing efforts to improve our (CRS) rating to bring additional relief to our flood insurance policy holders. This is the second time we have improved our rating over the last eight years,” Amato said.
Berkeley will become a Class 5. Class 1 is the best. Only 13 communities nationwide are classified as 1-4, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“I want to thank Jamie Zimmermann, our Certified Floodplain Manager, for assisting the township during this process along with the Township Council, who have been very supportive in adopting and revising ordinances to comply with the (NFIP),” Amato said. “This discount for our flood policy holders couldn’t come at a better time, as Congress is still grappling with the reauthorization of the (NFIP).”
Berkeley Township was one of the municipalities hardest hit by Superstorm Sandy. While a large portion of the township is landlocked, there are still sections by the ocean and bay, such as South Seaside Park, Pelican Island, and the lagoon communities.
“I encourage all flood policy holders to contact their insurance broker to let them know of this change, so they can get benefit with a reduction in flood premiums,” Amato said.