Community Rating System (CRS)

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. Pasco County joined the NFIP in 1981, began participating in the CRS incentive program in 1992, and recently improved its rating to a Class 5 community. Pasco’s recent CRS class improvement saves its residents 25% on their flood insurance premiums, resulting in nearly $4 million of savings for its policy holders.

CRS Basics:

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:

  1. Reduce and avoid flood damage to insurable property
  2. Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the National Flood Insurance Program
  3. Foster comprehensive floodplain management

CRS Classes are rated from 9 to 1. Today, most communities enter the program at a CRS Class 9 or Class 8 rating, which entitles residents in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) to a 5% discount on their flood insurance premiums for a Class 9 or a 10% discount for Class 8. As a community engages in additional mitigation activities, its residents become eligible for increased NFIP policy premium discounts. Each CRS Class improvement produces a 5% greater discount on flood insurance premiums for properties located in the SFHA.

Benefits of Enrollment in CRS:

Premium discounts are only one of the many rewards a community receives for participating in the CRS program. Below just a few of the other benefits that come with enrollment:

  • Citizens and property owners in CRS communities have increased opportunities to learn about risk, evaluate their individual vulnerabilities, and take action to protect themselves, as well as their homes and businesses.
  • CRS floodplain management activities provide enhanced public safety, reduced damage to property and public infrastructure, and avoidance of economic disruption and loss.
  • Communities can evaluate their flood programs against a nationally recognized benchmark.
  • Technical assistance in carrying out some activities is available to community officials at no charge.
  • CRS communities have incentives to maintain and improve their flood programs over time.