The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management practices that exceed the minimum requirements of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Over 1,500 communities participate nationwide.
In CRS communities, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community’s efforts that address the three goals of the program:
- Reduce and avoid flood damage to insurable property
- Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the National Flood Insurance Program
- Foster comprehensive floodplain management
Community Rating System Coordinator’s Manual
The Coordinator’s Manual is the guidebook for the Community Rating System. The Coordinator’s Manual explains how the program operates, how credits are calculated, what documentation is required, and how class ratings are determined. It also acts as guidance for communities in enhancing their flood loss reduction and resource protection activities.
The brochure, Community Rating System: The Local Official's Guide to Saving Lives, Preventing Property Damage and Reducing the Cost of Flood Insurance introduces the Community Rating System as a way of promoting the awareness of flood insurance.
The current Coordinator’s Manual is the 2017 Edition.
- Section 100 gives general background information on the CRS.
- Section 200 explains the application and verification procedures.
- Sections 300 through 700 explain the credit points and calculations that are used to verify CRS credit.
In January 2021, an addendum to the Coordinator’s Manual became effective. The 2021 Addendum and the 2017 CRS Coordinator’s Manual together will constitute the official statement of CRS credits and procedures. These two documents will remain effective until a fully revised edition of the Coordinator’s Manual is issued in the future.
Frequently Asked Questions about the 2021 Addendum
Community Rating System Forms
These forms are used by communities that wish to apply to the CRS and also by communities that already participate. The forms and their purposes are explained in the CRS Coordinator’s Manual, 2017 edition, as updated by the 2021 Addendum. The forms can also be obtained from a community’s ISO/CRS Specialist.
This packet includes a letter of interest and a “quick check” form, both of which are used by a community to apply to the CRS and request its initial CRS classification.
These certification forms are part of the documentation needed to obtain credit for certain activities under the CRS.
CRS communities use these forms to certify compliance with pertinent environmental and historic preservation requirements, needed to obtain CRS credit for certain activities.
CRS communities use this form to submit corrections and updates to the list of repetitive flood loss properties within their jurisdictions.
Currently Eligible CRS Participating Communities
View the list of participating Community Rating System communities. These communities became eligible on April 1, 2021.
Future Participating Communities
CRS Fact Sheets
The CRS program provides CRS Fact Sheets to highlight information that is relevant over many years or may be relevant to a current or specific topic. Examples of the current or specific topic Fact Sheets may be applicable to the recovery phase of a particular disaster or the beginning of a new CRS program initiative. In 2021 several CRS Fact Sheets are planned for production. They will be posted as they become available.
Community Rating System
How are Flood Insurance Premium Discounts for CRS Communities Calculated?
Flood insurance premium rates in Community Rating System communities are discounted in increments of 5%. A Class 10 community is not participating in the CRS and receives no discount. A Class 9 community receives a 5% discount for all policies in its Special Flood Hazard Areas, a Class 8 community receives a 10% discount, all the way to a Class 1 community, which receives a 45% premium discount.
Classifications are based on 19 creditable activities, organized in four categories:
- Public Information
- Mapping and Regulations
- Flood Damage Reduction
- Warning and Response
The table below shows the credit points earned, classification awarded and premium reductions.
CRS Credit Points, Classes and Premium Discounts
|Credit Points||Class|| Premium Reduction|
|4,000 – 4,499||2||40%||10%|
|3,500 – 3,999||3||35%||10%|
|3,000 – 3,499||4||30%||10%|
|2,500 – 2,999||5||25%||10%|
|2,000 – 2,499||6||20%||10%|
|1,500 – 1,999||7||15%||5%|
|1,000 – 1,499||8||10%||5%|
|500 – 999||9||5%||5%|
|0 – 499||10||0||0|
*Special Flood Hazard Area
**Preferred Risk Policies are available only in B, C and X Zones for properties that are shown to have a minimal risk of flood damage. The Preferred Risk Policy does not receive premium rate credits under the Community Rating System because it already has a lower premium than other policies. The Community Rating System credit for AR and A99 Zones are based on non-Special Flood Hazard Areas (non-SFHAs) (B, C and X Zones).
Credits include: Classes 1 – 6 at 10%. Classes 7 – 9 at 5%. Premium reductions are subject to change.
Floodplain Management Saves Money: Local Examples
Portland, Oregon, residents now save 25% in flood insurance premiums — an average $365 per policy in the Special Flood Hazard Area — as a result of Portland’s continued focus on floodplain management and flood risk reduction.