Miami-Dade County and FEMA Announce an Upgrade on Flood Insurance Ratings, Discount on Premiums
Today, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Deanne Criswell announced that Miami-Dade County will be upgraded to a Class 3 community in the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System (CRS). The new rating will result in an estimated $12 million savings annually, by providing qualifying residents and business owners in unincorporated Miami-Dade County a 35% discount on flood insurance premiums.
“As hurricanes and storms become more frequent and severe, I am grateful that communities like Miami-Dade County are making critical investments to keep residents safe from these increasing climate threats. I want to commend Mayor Levine Cava and her team for taking resilience so seriously here in Miami-Dade,” said Administrator Criswell. “As a result of their efforts, not only is the community more prepared for future flooding events, National Flood Insurance Program policyholders across the County will now receive greater discounts to their premiums. Miami-Dade is a shining example of how communities across the nation–large and small–can take bold actions to reduce flood risk and lower flood insurance premiums for their residents.”
The upgraded classification is a direct result of the flood mitigation activities led by the Division of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) of Miami-Dade County’s Department of Regulatory and Economic Resources (RER) in order to protect lives, reduce property damage, and build resilience against flooding and sea level rise. Nationwide, only 19 of the communities participating in the CRS Program have earned a Class 3 or better and Miami-Dade County is the largest among them. The County went from a Class 5 to a Class 3, making this the first time FEMA has upgraded a community two class levels in a single cycle verification.
“This is a clear example of how investing in climate resilience pays off,” said Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “While we build a climate resilient community that will protect people’s lives and livelihoods now and for the future, we are also providing much-needed relief for thousands of families struggling with rising costs and the direct impacts of climate change.”
Administrator Criswell and Mayor Levine Cava were joined by the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners Oliver G. Gilbert III and District 12 Commissioner Juan Carlos Bermudez, as well as by homeowners and businessowners who will see these direct savings in their flood insurance policies. The announcement took place at Miami-Dade County’s Belen 1 Stormwater Pump Station located in West Kendall, which is one of 18 pump stations that are part of the County’s stormwater system and was built, along with the surrounding drainage area improvements, thanks to combined funding from the federal government, the County and the State of Florida. The Belen 1 Pump Station is an integral part of the comprehensive drainage mitigation improvement implemented for this residential area that was heavily impacted by Hurricane Irene in 1999 and the No Name Storm in 2000.
Overall, Miami-Dade County has invested $1 billion in stormwater infrastructure over the last 33 years since the inception of the County’s Stormwater Utility. Under Mayor Levine Cava’s administration, the County has planned investments of an additional $1 billion in stormwater infrastructure. In the last two years, the County has accelerated projects to upgrade our infrastructure and implement critical flood mitigation activities.
Homeowners and businessowners in the Unincorporated Municipal Service Area (UMSA) of Miami-Dade County will qualify for the 35% discount on the majority of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies issued or renewed on or after April 1, 2024.