The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed National Flood Insurance Protection (NFIP) requirements. As an incentive, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect reduced risk.
Certifying Baltimore as a CRS was a goal established by the Disaster Preparedness Project and Plan, to help better protect Baltimore from flooding and save it’s residents money on insurance premiums.
There are three goals of the CRS
- Reduce flood damage to insurable property
- Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP
- Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management
Communities that certify themselves as a Community Rating System (CRS) have demonstrated that they comply with minimum to above standards for floodplain management. As a result, CRS discounts on flood insurance premiums range from 5%-45% for Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA).
In addition to lower cost of flood insurance, CRS communities have the following benefits
- Citizens and property owners in CRS communities have increased opportunity to learn about risks, evaluate personal vulnerabilities, and take action to prepare
- CRS floodplain management activities provide enhanced public safety, reduced damage to property and infrastructure, and avoidance of economic disruption and loss
- Communities can evaluate the effectiveness of their flood programs, comparing nationally recognized benchmarks