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County residents to save on flood insurance after rating drop

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POSTED: June 14, 2014 7:00 a.m.

Homeowners in unincorporated Bryan County should start seeing lower premiums on their FEMA flood insurance, officials say.
The news the county dropped to an 8 under FEMA’s community rating system was shared with Bryan County Commissioners at Tuesday’s regular meeting in Richmond Hill. The new rating could save some homeowners up to 10 percent on their policies, according to County Administrator Ray Pittman, who said the lower rating was the result of hard work by Bryan County employees.
The drop comes after unincorporated Bryan County was erroneously reported in February in the Federal Register as noncompliant with requirements under the National Flood Insurance Program because it hadn’t submitted paperwork showing the county had adopted new flood maps.
That was due to paperwork “crossing in the mail,” according to local officials, and a check of the FEMA website shows Bryan County is compliant.
Flood insurance has been getting a great deal of publicity since the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 prompted huge hikes in homeowner flood insurance premiums to help offset NFIP losses due to hurricanes such as Sandy, which costs taxpayers billions.
The legislation was countered in May with the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, which limited premium increases.
Tuesday’s news unincorporated Bryan County was rated as an 8 was shared by ISO specialist Sue Hopfensperger. It does not apply to residents in Richmond Hill or Pembroke, which are rated separately.
“It’s good news for the unincorporated parts of the county,” said County Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed. “I know our folks had to jump through a lot of hoops to get that done, and everybody involved did a great job.”
Also Tuesday, Bryan County Chief Financial Officer John Grotheer was named interim county administrator beginning July 1. He’ll take over for Pittman, who is stepping down July 11. Burnsed said the county is at least a few months away from naming a new county administrator.

 

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