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MCA discusses flood insurance, incorporation

February 28, 2018
By ED FRANKS ( , Pine Island Eagle

The Matlacha Civic Association held its monthly meeting last Wednesday night. The guest speaker was Jamie Scofstad from Safety Harbour Insurance to speak about the possible effects incorporation could have on flood insurance rates.

Scofstad, who has over 15 years experience in the insurance industry, offered a best case scenario and a worst case scenario post incorporation. Both suggested a possible 25 percent increase in flood insurance. The best case scenario suggests that following a community assistance visit from FEMA, property owners would return to current rates.

The worst case scenario suggests property owners, following a CAV from FEMA, "due to the amount of non-compliant enclosures / structures we have on the island, we are put on probation with National Flood Insurance Program until all non-compliant structures are brought into compliance."

Scofstad suggested there are many properties on Pine Island and Matlacha that have been renovated without permits and don't meet code requirements.

Following a CAV, property owners would be required to "undo" renovations to meet code requirements.

According to the FEMA website, "the Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary program for NFIP participating communities... the CRS has been developed to provide incentives in the form of premium discounts for communities to go beyond the minimum floodplain management requirements to develop extra measures to provide protection from flooding."

Flood Insurance ratings range from 1-10 and discounts on flood insurance range from 5 to 45 percent. Lee County's current rating is 5 with a 25 percent SFHA (Special Flood Hazard Area) discount and a 10 percent non-SFHA discount.

Following incorporation a community "must be in full compliance with the minimum requirements of the NFIP documented by a letter from the FEMA Regional office" to apply for participation in CRS.

The community must keep elevation certificates, maintain flood insurance on all buildings owned by the community, designate a CRS coordinator and meet other requirements.

"The community must also accumulate 500 credit points to apply for CRS discounts. Points are accumulated for current elevation certificates, hazard disclosure, flood protection information, flood insurance promotion and floodplain mapping."

Scofstad suggests after incorporation it could take some time to participate in the CRS classification discounts. Following incorporation it took Estero 3 years to rejoin CRS. Additional information is available at

In other business, MCA announced its community sale on Island Avenue is Saturday, March 3.

Matlacha Civic Association meets the third Wednes-day of every month at the Matlacha Art Association building in Matlacha Park. Meetings begin at 6 p.m.



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