• Text Size:
  • A
  • A
  • A

Insurance Rates and How They Can Be Lowered

The Town of Hilton Head Island participates in 3 programs that can lower your flood insurance premium or your homeowner/business insurance premium. The Community Rating System (CRS) lowers flood premiums with a 25 percent discount for qualifying structures. The Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) is an audit that rates how the Town enforces building codes, and a similar Public Protection Classification (PPC) is an audit that rates how well the Town conducts fire-protection efforts. These last 2 programs could lower your homeowner or business insurance if your insurance company participates in the programs. All 3 programs have a rating scale of Class 1 to 10. Class 1 requires the most credit points and provides the largest reduction, while Class 10 indicates the community does not participate in the program or has not earned the minimum required credit points, and property owners receive no premium reduction. If you have any questions on these programs, please contact the Community Development Information Center email icon at 843-341-4651.

Community Rating System Program and Its Impact on Flood Insurance

The Town of Hilton Head Island participates in the Community Rating System Program and is 1 of only 70 of the more than 1200 CRS communities nationally to achieve a Class 5 or better ranking. This allows residents with qualifying structures in high-risk areas to obtain a reduced flood insurance premium of up to 25 percent.

With the Town's 30,026 flood policies, this translates into total savings of $5,500,596 per year, or approximately $183 to the average policy holder living in an 'A' flood hazard zone.

The Community Rating System (CRS) of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is an incentive program that recognizes communities for implementing floodplain management practices that exceed the Federal minimum requirements of the NFIP to provide protection from flooding. In exchange for a community's proactive efforts to reduce flood risk, policyholders receive reduced flood insurance premiums for buildings in the community. Participation in the CRS program benefits our property owners by providing a safer community, reduced flood losses, and lower flood insurance premiums. The Town of Hilton Head Island has a Class 5 ranking.

How is flood insurance affected by the CRS?

Premiums are based on the construction date of the structure, the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) in effect at the time of participation in the NFIP, and the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) per zone as designated on the structure's Flood Elevation Certificate. For the Town of Hilton Head Island, the FIRM date is 9/30/1977. See chart below for eligibility.

Community Rating System (CRS) Premium Discount Eligibility

Flood Zone Eligible for CRS Premium Discount Not Eligible for CRS Premium Discount
All Flood Zones Pre-FIRM Buildings (before 9/30/1977) N/A
B, C, A99, AR, and AR Dual Zones (AR/A, AR/AE, AR/ A1-A30, AR/AH, and AR/AO) Post-FIRM Buildings (9/30/1977 or later)

10% discount

N/A
A Zones (AE, A1A30, Unnumbered A, AO, AH) Post-FIRM Non-Elevated Buildings where the elevation difference used for rating is at or above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE); OR
With a sub-grade crawlspace certification from a community official

25% discount

Post-FIRM Non-Elevated Buildings where the elevation difference used for rating is 1 foot or more below the BFE; OR
With no sub-grade crawlspace certification from a community official.

Post-FIRM Elevated Buildings where the elevation difference used for rating is at or above the BFE.

25% discount

Post-FIRM Elevated Buildings where the elevation difference used for rating is 1 foot or more below the BFE.
'75=-81 and Post-'81 V Zones (VE, V1-V30, Unnumbered V) Post-FIRM Non-Elevated Buildings where the elevation difference used for rating is at or above the BFE.

25% discount

Post-FIRM Non-Elevated Buildings where the elevation difference used for rating is 1 foot or more below the BFE
Post-FIRM Elevated Buildings where the elevation difference used for rating is at or above the BFE.

Post-FIRM Elevated Buildings

  • With unfinished enclosure where the elevation difference used for rating is at or above the BFE, with no machinery or equipment below the BFE; OR
  • With unfinished enclosure used only for parking, access, or storage with breakaway walls regardless of size, with no machinery or equipment below the BFE.
25% discount
Post-FIRM Elevated Buildings where the elevation difference used for rating is 1 foot or more below the BFE.

Post-FIRM Elevated Buildings
  • With no enclosure where the elevation difference used for rating is 1 foot or more below the BFE; OR
  • With enclosure with non breakaway walls where the elevation difference used for rating is 1 foot or more below the BFE; OR
  • With machinery or equipment below the BFE; OR
  • With finished enclosure below the BFE.

For more information, go to the official website of the National Flood Insurance Program at www.floodsmart.govexternal link icon.

Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule and Its Impact on Insurance Premiums

The Town of Hilton Head Island participates in the Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule program (BCEGS) and is 1 of 23 communities out of 262 (8.8%) in the State of South Carolina to achieve a Classification 3 ranking for 1 and 2 family residential property and Classification 3 for commercial/industrial property. Just 18% of all BCEGS evaluations nationwide result in a Class 1, 2 or 3 ranking.

The program allows participating insurers to apply credits to reduce insurance premiums for any construction that has been issued a Certificate of Occupancy from 1997 and forward.

The Building Code Effectiveness Grading Schedule (BCEGS) assesses the building codes in effect in our community and how the building codes are enforced, with special emphasis on mitigation of losses from natural hazards. It is administered by the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), which is an insurer-supported organization with the primary mission of providing advisory insurance underwriting and rating information to insurers. The program applies to all natural hazards.

Municipalities such as the Town of Hilton Head Island with well-enforced, up-to-date codes demonstrate better loss experience, which in turn is reflected in better insurance rates. BCEGS allows insurers given ISO authorization to apply credits to individual insurance policies, thereby recognizing safer buildings and communities that would sustain less damage from catastrophes. This ranking could also assist in lowering the Town's Community Rating System grading which affects flood insurance. The Town of Hilton Head Island has a Class 3 ranking.

How does BCEGS affect insurance rates?

ISO develops advisory rating credits for commercial fire and allied lines, business owners, homeowners, and dwelling lines of insurance. Any building constructed in the year ISO classifies a community, or in a later year, will be eligible for the program.

The Town of Hilton Head Island has the following rankings:

From 11/1/1997 to 1/6/2010:

  • Classification 3 for 1 and 2 Family Dwellings
  • Classification 3 for commercial and industrial

From 1/7/2010 to 8/18/2014:

  • Classification 4 for 1 and 2 Family Dwellings
  • Classification 4 for commercial and industrial

From 8/19/2014 to present:

  • Classification 3 for 1 and 2 Family Dwellings
  • Classification 3 for commercial and industrial

Application for BCEGS credit to individual insurance policies is done on a voluntary basis by each insurer. Check with your insurance company to see if they participate in the BCEGS program and how it would affect your business or homeowner's insurance premium.

Public Protection Classification Program and Its Impact on Fire Insurance Premiums

The Town of Hilton Head Island participates in the Public Protection Classification program (PPC) and is 1 of 113 communities out of 639 (17.7%) in the State of South Carolina to achieve a Class 3 or better ranking. Just 6.6% of all 49,010 PPC evaluations nationwide result in a Class 3 or better ranking.

The program may lower insurance premiums for a variety of personal and commercial insurance coverages, including homeowners, mobile home, fine arts floaters, and commercial property (including business interruption).

The Public Protection Classification (PPC) program evaluates municipal fire-protection efforts in communities. The PPC program provides incentives and rewards for communities to improve their firefighting services, which influence lower fire insurance premiums. It is administered by the Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), which is an insurer-supported organization with the primary mission of providing advisory insurance underwriting and rating information to insurers. The Town of Hilton Head Island has a Class 3 ranking.

How does PPC information affect individual insurance policies?

PPC may affect the underwriting and pricing for a variety of personal and commercial insurance coverages, including homeowners, mobile home, fine arts floaters, and commercial property (including business interruption) - generally offering lower premiums in communities with better protection.

Application of PPC credit to individual insurance policies is done on a voluntary basis by each insurer. Check with your insurance company to see if they participate in the PPC program and how it would affect your business or homeowner's insurance premium.

For more information on BCEGS or PPC, go to the official site of the Insurance Service Organization.