The National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) was created to recognize and encourage community’s to voluntarily create floodplain management strategies that exceed the minimum requirements of the NFIP. A CRS community develops programs and procedures that reduce flood risk. Those communities are then rewarded with flood insurance premium rate discounts for their property owners and tenets.

The CRS program works on a credit point system. Community’s use the CRS coordinators manual to create programs which receive credit points. Communities can receive credit points from Public Information Activities, Mapping and Regulations, Flood Damage Reduction Activities and Flood Warning and Response Activities. The community is then assigned a classification based on the number of credit points they receive during a verification visit. There are 10 CRS classes with 10 being the entry level into the program.

The insurance premium reduction is based on this classification system. For example, residents that are in a community with a class 9 would receive a 5% discount on their insurance premium. The discount would apply to all property owners and tenets in that community, including those in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). A community with a class 2 however would provide property owners and tenets in a SFHA with a 40% premium discount and those living outside the SFHA would receive a 10% discount.

On October 1, 2021, FEMA introduced Risk Rating 2.0 which updated the National Flood Insurance Program and changed the way CRS discounts are applied to a community. The discounts for policies in the Special Flood Hazard Area are now applied to the whole community. The class 2 community in the above example will now apply the 40% premium reduction to the entire community.

The City of Arlington has belonged to the NFIP since December 31, 1974 and entered the CRS program in October 1, 1991. Since then, the City has utilized this program to reduce flood risk in the City and provide insurance premium reduction to its citizens. During our 2020 verification visit, the City achieved a class 5 which provides a 25% premium discount to all property owners and tenets in the City.