Mashpee Residents Reap the Benefits of Stronger Coastal Resilience with Reduced Flood Insurance Costs
Through joint efforts of the Town of Mashpee, WHOI and Barnstable County, local residents and business owners can expect savings totaling $70,000 in insurance annually.
Mashpee, MA – Mashpee residents and business owners with a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy will see a 15% annual reduction in premiums thanks to the collaborative Community Rating System (CRS) program between the town and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) Sea Grant and Barnstable County’s Cape Cod Cooperative Extension. The discount goes into effect on April 1 of this year and is expected to save an average of $275 per policy, yielding a total of $70,000 in annual savings for residents and business owners combined.
The voluntary CRS program, administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), awards communities with NFIP flood insurance discounts through a class ratings system for conducting activities that promote flood insurance and reduce flood risk. Shannon Hulst, Extension’s WHOI Sea Grant Floodplain and CRS Specialist, worked with Mashpee town officials to improve the town’s class rating, allowing the community to raise the insurance discount from 10% to 15%. The discount will affect 500 current policyholders. Nearly all Mashpee property owners are eligible for a National Flood Insurance Program, regardless of flood zone.
“I champion the CRS because I see it as a way to incentivize resilience overall,” Hulst said. “It encourages communities to take actions to make structures in our floodplains safer through higher standards and enforcement. It also helps raise flood awareness among residents, home buyers, and business owners, and protects open space, which ultimately improves our resilience.”
About 1,626 acres of Mashpee are considered a floodplain, parcels of land near water subject to flooding. Nationwide, flood insurance rates are determined by the extent to which the land is prone to flooding.
“With sea level rise and more frequent storms, participation in the CRS helps communities take a focused approach to addressing increasing risks of storm damage in the future,” Hulst said. “It’s an option for all communities.”
For information about flood insurance, property owners should contact their insurance agent or visit floodsmart.gov. To learn more about the CRS program, visit https://seagrant.whoi.edu/regional-topics/storms-erosion-flooding/community-rating-system/.