FEMA Community Rating System
Good news for Tallahassee flood insurance policyholders! Tallahassee citizens will save approximately $250,000 in annual flood insurance premium costs thanks to the City of Tallahassee's efforts through the Community Rating System (CRS) program.
Because of the City's proactive Stormwater Management program and participation in the CRS, Tallahassee floodplain property owners automatically receive a 20 percent discount on premiums when they purchase flood insurance. Despite changes in the program requirements which made achieving this milestone more demanding, the City has been successful in securing this discount for floodplain property owners.
Community Rating System of the National Flood Insurance Program:
Background and Purpose
Recognizing the importance of developing a comprehensive approach to floodplain management, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has implemented the Community Rating System (CRS). The CRS is designed to encourage and reward communities that undertake public awareness and floodplain activities beyond those required by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) standards.
The NFIP has been successful in requiring new and remodeled buildings to be protected from damage by the 100-year flood event. However, the program has had few incentives for communities to do more than enforce the minimum federal regulatory standards. Flood insurance rates have been the same in all participating communities, even though some do much more than regulate construction of new buildings and adhere to the national standards.
Because of the City’s proactive Stormwater Management program and participation in the CRS, Tallahassee floodplain property owners automatically receive a 20 percent discount on premiums when they purchase flood insurance. Despite changes in the program requirements which made achieving this milestone more demanding, the City has been successful in securing this discount for floodplain property owners.
It is important to undertake a comprehensive approach to floodplain management. Because these activities can gave a great impact on the insurance premium base, flood damages, flood insurance claims, and federal disaster payment. The Florida Department of Community Affairs, which is the state coordinating agency for the NFIP, encourages local governments participating in the program to develop comprehensive floodplain ordinances that address all aspects of floodplain management.
Comprehensive Floodplain Management Activities: Regulated by Florida's Growth Management Laws
The local role is important because land use decisions that most directly affect floodplain management are made at this level. Historically, the extent to which local governments regulate development in the floodplains of Florida has been tied to the minimum requirements for participation in the NFIP. These minimum requirements, if adopted by a local government, enable its citizens to purchase flood insurance.
Florida's growth management laws recognize the importance of local protection of floodplains and incorporate minimum planning and regulatory standards that exceed NFIP minimum standards.
CRS Classifications: Credit Points Save You Money
Under the CRS, flood insurance rates can be reduced according to a credit-based classification system. This system rewards those communities that participate in floodplain management related activities that exceed the minimum federal NFIP standards.
Flood insurance rate reductions are available in communities based on their CRS classification. There are ten classes, with Class 1 having the greatest reduction and Class 10 having no premium credit. A community's CRS class is based on the number of credit points calculated for the activities that are undertaken to reduce flood losses, facilitate accurate insurance ratings, and promote the awareness of flood hazards and flood insurance.
The qualifying community's total points, CRS classes, and flood insurance premium credits are shown below. A local government is automatically in Class 10 unless it submits an application for CRS classification that indicates minimum federal standards are exceeded.
One of the activities performed by the Stormwater Management Division is coordinating the annual progress report of the Local Mitigation Strategy Hazard Mitigation Procedures Initiatives. Strategy Hazard Mitigation annual report.
CRS: Flood Insurance Rate Reduction Classes
It is important to note that reduction in flood insurance rates is only one of the rewards communities receive from undertaking the activities credited under the CRS. Others include increased public safety, reduction of damages to property and public infrastructure, avoidance of economic disruption and losses, reduction of human suffering, and protection of the environment.
Local government application for the CRS is voluntary. Any regular phase community in full compliance with the rules and regulations of the NFIP may apply for a CRS classification. To apply, the community must submit application worksheets and certify that it is implementing one or more of the activities recognized by the CRS. All applications for the CRS must be submitted to FEMA between October 1 and December 15.
Where to get help
For additional information on the CRS, please call or write:
City of Tallahassee
Stormwater Management Division
300 S. Adams Street - B35
Tallahassee, Florida 32301-1731
or visit the FEMA Web site.
City of Tallahassee
The City of Tallahassee participates in the CRS program of the NFIP. As a result, Tallahassee residents receive a reduction in their flood insurance premiums.