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Abstract

The Community Rating System (CRS) was introduced to encourage flood mitigation and increase participation in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In exchange for undertaking community-level mitigation activities, community residents earn discounts on their flood insurance policies. Little is known, however, about the relative role of specific mitigation activities on NFIP participation (i.e., policies-in-force) and damage claims. Using community-level panel data on policies-in-force, flood insured damage claims and CRS mitigation activities for the period (1998-2013) for the states of Alabama and Mississippi, we examine the effect of individual mitigation activities on both NFIP policies-in-force and damage claims across communities. We also estimate the average effect of community’s participation in the CRS program on NFIP policies-in-force and insured damage claims. We do so while controlling for key geospatial and demographic characteristics. Results are expected to provide guidance in terms of which CRS mitigation activities have the greatest impact on improving NFIP participation and damage reduction.

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