Discounts on flood insurance in Biloxi

By Krystal Allan - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Biloxi homeowners will now see deeper discounts on their flood insurance policies thanks to the city's improved community rating. Its rating improved a seven to a six on the Community Rating System under the National Flood Insurance Program. The rating is based on a one to ten scale with one being the highest rating.

"With the way it is today in the economy any little bit helps," says Rick Stickler, Biloxi Flood Plain Administrator.

Those who live in the special hazard zone, like Point Cadet or Back Bay, will receive a 20% discount instead of 15%. Homeowners outside the zone will see discounts bumped up from 5% to 10%.

"When folks re-new their policies now, they'll see the decreases reflect in their policies," says Stickler.

Rick Stickler, a Flood Plain Administrator for the city, says the discounts might have come just in time for homeowners whose flood zones have changed with the newly adopted flood plain maps.

Stickler says those who now sit in the special hazard zone, under the new map, will have their policy bumped up from $350.00 to about $1100.00. With the 15% discount, those homeowners would have paid about $935.00, but under the new 20% discount, they'll pay about $880.00.

Stickler says moving from a seven to a six rating started back in 2006 when the city changed its Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance.

"We started to identify areas such as enclosures where we could get more points," says Stickler.

The city took steps like reducing the space of enclosed areas under elevated homes and homeowners had to agree not make to the area a recreational or livable space.

Though the city is pleased with what it's done to receive its new rating, Stickler says it has its sights set on a five rating next year.

Click HERE to see the city's flood zone maps.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.