Maui News

Maui County Policyholders Maintain 15% Flood Insurance Discount after Audit

May 21, 2021, 10:40 AM HST
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Front Street flooding in Lahaina in 2018. Photo Credit: Chuck Bergson

Maui County property owners will continue to receive a 15% discount on flood insurance policies in federally defined special flood hazard areas after the Maui County Planning Department completed a rigorous audit of the county’s compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System.

The County’s 12,562 active flood insurance policy holders may continue to hold Class 7 policies that are 15% less expensive, lowering the average cost per policy from $735 to $625 — an average savings of $110 per policy. This will result in Maui County policyholders collectively saving about $1.4 million annually.

More than 1,500 communities across the United States participate in the voluntary Community Rating System (CRS) program, which rates communities on a scale of 1 to 10 based on efforts to mitigate flood damage. Flood insurance premium discounts are awarded according to these efforts, starting at 5% for Class 9-rated communities and increasing incrementally to 45% for Class 1.

Maui County joined the National Flood Insurance Program in 1981, which also enables property owners to have access to federally backed flood insurance. In order to participate in the discount program, Maui County is audited annually to ensure compliance with Federal Emergency Management Agency floodplain management standards.

Through the 2017 audit process, Maui County was able to show its enforcement of higher standards, especially in ensuring the safety of all new development in high-risk flood zones. The County went from a Class 8 to a Class 7 rated community, leading to an extra 5% discount on flood insurance policies in special flood hazard areas.

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As part of Maui County’s participation in the NFIP/CRS programs, FEMA conducted a rigorous auditing process of the County last year for all flood-related projects and activities conducted from 2017 to 2020 on Maui, Molokaʻi and Lanaʻi.

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Staff from the Maui County departments of Planning and Public Works worked with a FEMA representative to ensure that the County is enforcing proper development in high-risk flood zones and maintaining all current relevant documentation. The standards include the proper elevation of new buildings built in flood zones, proper distribution of flood-related maps and documents to the public, and maintaining a detailed record of all approved flood permits during the audited period. The Department of Land and Natural Resource’s Engineering Division also provided information on dam safety, which contributed to the County’s ranking.

For more Flood Program information, contact the County’s Certified Floodplain Manager, Diego A. Sanchez-Gomez, at (808) 270-7139 or via email at [email protected]

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