Community Rating System (CRS)

Purpose & Goals

The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that recognizes community floodplain management activities exceeding minimum NFIP requirements. Snohomish County adopted the NFIP floodplain regulations on March 15, 1984, and has participated in the CRS program since 2006.

The CRS program recognizes, encourages, and rewards – through the use of flood insurance discounts – community activities that go beyond the minimum NFIP requirements to:

  • Reduce and avoid flood damage to insurable property
  • Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP
  • Foster comprehensive floodplain management

Classifications

The CRS program is modeled after a similar system used in fire insurance rating. There are ten classifications within the CRS program, from the entry class (10) to the highest class (1.) Class 10 offers no flood insurance premium discount, but each class increase results in an additional 5 percent premium discount, up to the 45 percent discount allowed for Class 1.

Other Snohomish County cities in the CRS program, and their CRS classifications, are:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers the NFIP, as well as the CRS.

Rating

Snohomish County has earned a rating of Class 5, allowing a 30% discount on annual flood insurance premiums for properties located within Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) and a 10 percent discount in non-SFHAs.

Benefits

  • Flood insurance policyholders can be entitled to a discount on their annual flood insurance premium.
  • 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 the effectiveness of their flood programs against a nationally recognized benchmark.
  • Technical assistance in designing and implementing some activities is available to community officials at no charge.
  • CRS communities have incentives to maintain and improve their flood programs over time.

CRS Program Review

The CRS program credits floodplain management activities in four categories: public Information, mapping and regulations, flood damage reduction, and warning and response. Every year a community must reaffirm that it is continuing to perform the activities for which it is receiving CRS credit, through a process known as "CRS Recertification."

During these annual activities, communities submit projects completed during the year, progress reports, and similar items that document the implementation of credited activities.

FEMA conducts an audit of CRS communities' program records every three years for communities rated Class 5 or better. The audit provides an opportunity for the community to verify the credited elements of the program, as well as present any new programs that it has implemented, which are eligible for CRS credit.