Horry County, SC - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Horry County residents will soon see their flood insurance rates drop by 5 percent, thanks to the county's acceptance into the Community Rating System.
Alicia Bastian with Horry County Emergency Management says the CRS program is a federal program similar to an ISO rating for fire.
Bastian says this is the first year the county has applied for and been accepted into the program. The program encourages the county to identify the areas that are prone to flooding, and let those people who live there know, among other requirements.
"Anything we can do to educate homeowners on the importance of flood insurance and understanding that floods don't just happen from rivers and oceans. They also happen in your neighborhood - from the storm water or extensive rain. [It's] definitely a plus," Bastian said.
Horry County residents should expect to see a $24 dollar discount if they live in a flood zone. Residents who do not will see a $14 return.
The savings begin on Oct. 1 and only apply to people who live in the county, not within city limits. Bastian adds that the savings should be an automatic reduction. About 14,000 county residents are qualified for the discounted measure.
The CRS scale ranges from 1 to 10, with a 1 rating giving homeowners the biggest discount. Bastian says the county will be coming into the system at a 9. She says they will continue working to make that rating better, and as a result, lower flood insurance rates even more.
"Our goal definitely is to work our way down. The municipalities around us obviously have a lower CRS. They've been in CRS longer, for instance the city of Myrtle Beach has a 5," Bastian explained. "We'd definitely like to get down to at least a 7 or a 6 at the very minimum."