County improves flood insurance rating

Insurance premiums could drop

KINGMAN - Mohave County homeowners with flood insurance may see a significant drop in their rates.

Mohave County Development Services Director Nick Hont recently announced that the county has received a new National Flood Insurance Community Rating from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The new class 6 rating gives residents located in a special flood hazard area a 20 percent discount and residents who live outside of special flood zones a 10 percent discount on flood insurance, he said.

The average resident who lives in a special flood hazard area will save around $113 a year, according to Shannon Summers, Mohave County's floodplain programs manager. Residents who do not live in flood hazard area but have flood insurance will see a savings of around $92 a year.

The savings varies based on the type of home and where it is located in a flood zone. The average flood insurance premium for a home in a special flood hazard area is around $481 a year.

Mohave County is one of five communities in the state to achieve a class 6 rating from FEMA. The there are 10 community ratings. Each community is awarded points based on what it has done to raise flood awareness and mitigate flooding in their area. The lower the rating, the better the insurance discount.

In order to get the lower rating, the Mohave County Flood Control Division had to jump through a few hoops.

The county worked with FEMA to update and correct old flood zone maps, Hont said.

Money from two FEMA grants was used to complete the project.

The county also installed a flood warning system, which can be accessed by residents through the county's website. That system helped the county get recognition from the National Weather Service as a "Storm Ready Community."

The county also created a standards manual for flood project engineering, updated building codes, created a flood channel maintenance plan, constructed several new flood control projects in the county and the cities and created a plan for future projects.