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Community Rating System (CRS)

What is the Community Rating System?

The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary program, within the NFIP, that credits community efforts to go above and beyond the minimum requirements of the NFIP by reducing flood insurance premiums for the community’s property owners.  CRS discounts on flood insurance premiums range from 5% to 45% (See Table Below), based on CRS credit points that are awarded to communities.  These credit points come from 19 activities organized under four (4) categories:  Public Information, Mapping and Regulations, Flood Damage Reduction, and Warning and Response.  Communities can choose to undertake any or all of these activities.  Based on the number of credit points received, a community earns a rank in one of then CRS classes. (See Table Below)

The Insurance Services Office (ISO) is FEMA’s CRS program management contractor.  Two (2) ISO/CRS Specialist support Louisiana communities.  The Specialist work with communities to prepare applications and to modify documentation when new activities are undertaken.  ISO’s CRS Program Coordination Team reviews applications and documentations and makes recommendations to FEMA.

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State NFIP Coordinator's Office CRS Support

State CRS staff, Pam Lightfoot, is available to help communities understand the CRS, identify eligible activities, review prerequisites, adopt requirements for new activities, understand the process to seek credits for new activities, and the application process.  The State NFIP Coordinator’s Office supports communities in several ways:
    1. Help CRS communities to maintain or improve CRS class ratings.
    2. Support Louisiana’s several locally-organized regional CRS User Groups by providing technical assistance and making presentations on specific topics and activities requested.
    3. Work with ISO to verify State-Earned Credits available to all CRS communities.
    4. Provide CRS news through email blasts and digital newsletters.
    5. Provide “What If” statements that show community-specific discounts for all CRS classes, showing how citizens would benefit if communities undertake more eligible activities.
    6. Conduct reviews for communities not in the CRS to determine whether they will achieve the minimum 500 points for enrollment and help with initial application.

Guidance for CRS Communities

CRS Communities must obtain FEMA Elevation Certificates for new construction and when buildings are substantially improved or repaired after incurring substantial damage.  Communities must also review and retain all their Elevation Certificates.

CRS Communities must be in full compliance with NFIP minimum requirements.  If FEMA determines a community is not fully compliant, it may be retrograded to a CRS Class 10 (i.e., no longer participating in CRS) and flood insurance premium discounts previously awarded to NFIP policy holders in the community will no longer apply.

​Interested in Achieving a Better Class?
Contact State CRS Staff, Pam Lightfoot, to get a “What If” statement that shows the premium discounts based on the number of policies for better CRS classes.  Review the CRS Coordinators Manual and consider undertaking new activities and adopting additional higher standards.

CRS Annual Recertification
CRS communities must certify each year that they continue to perform the floodplain management activities credited under the CRS.  Louisiana communities recertify deadline date is August 1st.  ISO will send communities lists of credited activities, the recertification package, in June.  

CRS Cycle Verification Visits
ISO/CRS Specialists conduct cycle verification visits every five (5) years for Class 6-9 communities and every three (3) years for Class 1-5 communities.  During visits, Specialists verify that CRS credited activities continue to be implemented and will request a copy of all documentation for the credited activities.

Information for Communities Not in CRS

Every NFIP participating community in Louisiana can benefit from joining the CRS.  Not only will NFIP flood insurance policy holders benefit from premium discounts, but long-term reduction in damage is a tangible outcome.  Most communities already implement some standards and activities that are eligible for CRS credit.  Here is a link to FEMA Publication B-573, “A Local Official’s Guide to Saving Lives, Preventing Property Damage, and Reducing the Cost of Flood Insurance.”​

To join the Community Rating System (CRS), communities must:
    1. Designate a CRS Coordinator who has the time and resources to undertake the application process and maintain certification once accepted into the program.  CRS Coordinators should have full support of community leadership.
    2. Submit a Letter of Intent to FEMA Region VI, Gilbert Giron​, and complete the Application and Checklist.  Click here for a copy of all three (3).
    3. Be in full compliance with the minimum requirements of the NFIP, determined by a Community Assistance Visit (CAV) conducted by staff of the State NFIP Coordinator’s Office or FEMA Region IV.
    4. Work with ISO/CRS Specialists during a verification visit to review the CRS application and documentation; after successful completion of the visit, the Specialist recommends, to FEMA, the CRS class rating.
    5. Require FEMA Elevation Certificates to document elevations of all new buildings and substantial improvements/damages.
    6. Maintain flood insurance coverage on all community-owned buildings in flood zones.
    7. Take specific actions specified in the CRS Coordinator’s Manual if there are Repetitive Loss Properties in the community.  Repetitive loss properties have had two (2) or more claims of more than $1,000 paid by the NFIP within any 10-year period since 1978. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​ 
CRS Resources