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MORE: Ft Myers says it's harder to keep FEMA insurance discount now, than before

Fort Myers and Sanibel are the only cities to not lose its FEMA flood insurance discount. They said in the past, they have lost it before and FEMA has made it harder to retain.
Posted at 9:45 PM, Apr 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-08 21:45:27-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — FEMA has given five southwest Florida communities another 30 days to provide documents so you can keep your flood insurance discount. This comes after FEMA retired discounts, and now we've learned it's something they've done in the past.

The City of Fort Myers and Sanibel are the only cities in Lee County to keep their insurance discounts in this latest round.

Last week, Fox 4's Senior Reporter Ryan Kruger talked with Mayor Anderson about what Ft Myers did differently.

And on Monday, Fox 4's Senior Reporter Kaitlin Knapp was in the workshop where the City Council talked about it for the first time since the announcement on March 29.

"We didn't lose our discount, as little as it is," said councilman Fred Burson.

Fort Myers gets a 5% discount because they are a Class 9.

Here's how the rating system works: the lower the class number, the higher the discount. Each class is an additional 5%.

The city's building permit manager says both the city and county lost its discount in the past, meaning they dropped classes.

"Lee County was actually a Class 4 at that time and they actually got retrograded because it was harder," said Brent Brewster, the city's building permit manager. "They [FEMA] changed the program, made it more difficult for communities."

Though not specified, that same year, Fort Myers retrograded to a Class 9.

Areas are scored based on several factors including public information, mapping and regulation, flood damage reduction and warning and response.

"FEMA came and met with us almost weekly — how we're building these cases, how we're keeping track, how we're permitting," Brewster said.

People in Fort Myers could see another discount. Brewster said insurance officials are coming to the city in July to score its Community Rating System (CRS), which determines the class for discount.