Community Rating System
Pinellas Park, Florida
The Community Rating System (CRS) is an incentive program that encourages communities to adopt floodplain management activities exceeding the minimum National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements. CRS has three goals, which are:
- Reduce flood losses.
- Facilitate accurate insurance ratings.
- Promote the awareness of flood insurance.
In return for a community’s adoption of standards that go above and beyond the minimum NFIP requirements, flood insurance premium rates for residents within the participating community are discounted. The discounts are designed to reflect the reduced flood risk to property owners resulting from the community’s floodplain management activities, and the amount of the discount varies according to the community’s level of effort.
Pinellas Park first entered the CRS Program on October 1, 1991. From the very beginning city officials have recognized the value of the CRS Program in reducing risk to floodplain property owners, and have actively pursued a variety of floodplain management activities to reduce flood risks to the residents. The program also provides discounts on premiums for flood insurance policy-holders in the community based upon mitigation activities undertaken by the community.
Pinellas Park has a Class 7 rating under the CRS, which provides a 15 percent discount on flood insurance premiums for property located within special flood hazard areas and a 10 percent discount in non-special flood hazard areas within the community.
How does the Community Rating System work?
CRS communities are awarded points for their local floodplain management activities that exceed the NFIP minimum standards. Communities are placed into classes ranging from Class 10 (lowest class) to Class 1 (highest class) based on the total number of points accrued and other specific CRS requirements. All participating communities start out as a Class 10, which offers no flood insurance premium discount, and each class increase results in an additional 5 percent premium discount. A community attaining a Class 1 CRS rating is awarded a 45 percent discount in flood insurance premiums.
The CRS program contains 18 groups of activities under which Pinellas Park can acquire credit, and these groups are organized under four overarching categories: public information, mapping and regulations, flood damage reduction, and flood preparedness.
Examples of these activities include:
- Maintaining information on FEMA elevation certificates and making them available to the public;
- Maintaining and providing information on flood insurance rate maps;
- Providing information on flood insurance purchase requirements;
- Conducting outreach to flood plain property owners through the mailing of a flood awareness brochures and face to face activities such as booths at community festivals;
- Making floodplain information available through public libraries and a Web site;
- Providing flood protection assistance to property owners through walk-in inquiries at the building department and customer information bulletins;
- Regulate development to address flooding issues;
- Implementation of a multi-year program of capital improvements to better manage stormwater;
- Has purchased properties and removed structures to reduce flood hazards;
- CRS credit is also provided based upon the City’s inspection and maintenance program of its drainage system.