Community Rating System (CRS)

About | How to Apply | How to Earn Points | Resources | Key Contacts


The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) was implemented in 1994 as a voluntary program for recognizing and encouraging community floodplain management activities exceeding the minimum NFIP standards. Any community in full compliance with the minimum NFIP floodplain management requirements may apply to join the CRS. The CRS is administered by the Insurance Services Office, Inc (ISO), as well as PA Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED)and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) at the state-level.

Under the CRS, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reward community actions that meet the three goals of the CRS, which are: (1) reduce flood damage to insurable property; (2) strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP; and (3) encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management. Discounts can range from 5%-45%, depending on the community’s floodplain management. (See point system in table to the right.)


CRS Communities in the SPC Region

Shaler Township

Borough of Etna

Township of Upper St Clair

CRS Communities in Pennsylvania

There are 35 CRS communities in Pennsylvania, as of October 1, 2018. Some examples are listed below:

How to Apply

Pre-requisites to Apply:

  • Full compliance with NFIP requirements - enforcing local ordinance
  • Be in the regular phase (versus Emergency Phase) of NFIP for at least 1 year
  • Agree to maintain FEMA Elevation Certificates for all structures in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)
  • Address FEMA-identified repetitive loss properties
  • Maintain flood insurance coverage for community-owned properties in the floodplain

Preparing for CRS Application:

  1. Floodplain Management Ordinance Review Checklist (Right-Click and Download interactive PDF file. Opening in browser will not display properly.)
  2. Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP) – by county
  3. CRS Quick Check
  4. Review Repetitive Loss Property List for community – contact FEMA/PEMA for information
  5. Require Elevation Certificates for all new as-built construction in the floodplain
  6. Training for local enforcement of floodplain management (recommended, not required)
    1. L273/E0273: Managing Floodplain Development Through the NFIP
    2. Certified Floodplain Manager (CFM) certificate

Steps for Application:

  1. Inform FEMA Regional Office (see Key Contacts) of your community’s interest in apply to the CRS with a letter of intent.
  2. FEMA or PEMA will verify that your community is complying with the NFIP by performing a Community Assistance Visit (CAV)
    1. Assures your community is complying with your local floodplain ordinance – documentation review, tour of floodplain
  3. Submit application, along with documentation of activities to receive credit for, to the Insurance Services Office, Inc (ISO).
  4. Once approved by FEMA, an ISO representative will visit your community to review your application and activities.
  5. FEMA will establish credit and notify you (the community), the State, insurance companies, and other parties.
  6. To remain in the CRS, your community must verify credited activities by submitting a recertification annually. New credit can be earned with new floodplain management activities, therefore reducing the flood insurance premiums for your residents.

How to Earn Points

See Master List of Creditable CRS Activities and Elements for more information.


Key Contacts

General CRS Contact:

P.O. Box 501016
Indianapolis, IN 46250-1016
(317) 848-2898
Fax: (201) 748-1936

Sign-Up for the NFIP/CRS Newsletter Here



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