COMMUNITY RATING SYSTEM
The National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. The CRS is a national program developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).The CRS provides credit to communities that enact and enforce regulations that exceed the NFIP’s minimum standards, so that more flood protection is provided for new and existing development.
As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of the CRS:
- Reduce flood damage to insurable property;
- Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP; and
- Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.
The CRS Coordinator’s Manual spells out the credits and credit criteria of the CRS for community activities and programs that go above and beyond the minimum requirements for participation in the NFIP. Although it is primarily a reference for CRS activities and credits, it can also help guide communities that want to design or improve their floodplain management programs. The CRS Classes are based on completion of 19 creditable activities organized into 4 categories:
- Public Information (Section 300): This series credits programs that advise people about the flood hazard, encourage the purchase of flood insurance, and provide information about ways to reduce flood damage. These activities also generate data needed by insurance agents for accurate flood insurance rating. They generally serve all members of the community.
- Mapping and Regulations (Section 400): This series credits programs that provide increased protection to new development. These activities include mapping areas not shown on the FIRM, preserving open space, protecting natural floodplain functions, enforcing higher regulatory standards, and managing stormwater. The credit is increased for growing communities.
- Flood Damage Reduction (Section 500): This series credits programs for areas in which existing development is at risk. Credit is provided for a comprehensive floodplain management plan, relocating or retrofitting flood prone structures, and maintaining drainage systems.
- Warning and Response (Section 600): This series provides credit for measures that protect life and property during a flood, through flood warning and response programs. There is credit for the maintenance of levees and dams and also for programs that prepare for their potential failure.
CREDIT POINTS AND CLASSIFICATION
By participating, communities earn credit points that determine classifications. A community receives a CRS classification based upon the total credit for its activities. There are 10 CRS Classes: Class 1 requires the most credit points and provides the largest flood insurance premium reduction (45 percent), while Class 10 means the community does not participate in the CRS or has not earned the minimum required credit points, and residents receive no premium reduction. A community that does not apply for the CRS, or does not obtain the minimum number of credit points, is a Class 10 community and receives no discount on premiums.The qualifying community total points, CRS classes, and flood insurance premium discounts are shown in the below table:
For more information on the Community Rating Program or how classifications are determined, please visit the FEMA website below: