CRS is a voluntary incentive program that encourages communities to implement flood risk reduction measures that exceed the NFIP’s minimum requirements.
About the Community Rating System (CRS)
The National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) CRS is a voluntary incentive program that encourages communities to implement flood risk reduction measures that exceed the NFIP’s minimum requirements. Under the CRS, communities that take additional actions to reduce their flood risk can earn discounts on NFIP flood insurance policies for their residents.
CRS discounts range from 5% to 45% and are determined by the number and type of risk reduction actions a community has taken. Communities earn discounts by accumulating points. Communities can earn points by adopting measures that improve how the community provides and communicates flood risk information, maps and regulates floodplain development, reduces potential flood damages to existing buildings, provides early flood warnings, and responds to flood events. The greatest number of points are awarded for actions that permanently reduce risk, such as preserving open space, limiting development in high-risk areas, and acquiring and relocating at-risk buildings.
Communities with high point totals receive higher CRS “class” ratings and therefore, greater discounts on flood insurance policies for their residents. Class ratings range from 1 to 10, with 1 being the highest rating a community can receive. For “Class 1” communities, residents located in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) – where flood insurance is required – receive a 45% discount on NFIP flood insurance policies. The table below shows the discounts that correspond to each CRS Rate Class.
|Class Rate||Discount For SFHA Properties||Discount For Non-SFHA Properties|
Communities with high ratings
Currently, Roseville, CA (Class 1); Tulsa, OK (Class 2); King County, WA (Class 2); and Sacramento County, CA (Class 2) are among the communities that have earned high ratings through a variety of strategies. For example, Tulsa has removed more than 900 buildings from its floodplains and focused on comprehensive planning to reduce flood damage. Sacramento, CA has invested heavily in public outreach programs to inform residents about the importance of protecting waterways, buying flood insurance, and preparing for flood events. King County, WA has preserved more than 100,000 acres of natural open space. And Roseville, CA has taken a comprehensive approach to flood risk reduction, earning points for nearly all CRS activities.
Out of more than 22,000 NFIP-participating communities, only about 1,500 participate currently in the CRS. Although CRS communities represent just 7% of NFIP communities, they account for more than 70% of all NFIP policies. That is 3.6 million out of roughly 5.1 million NFIP policyholders live in CRS communities and benefit from both lower flood insurance costs and lower flood risk.