Community Rating System

The National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community and state floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. The objective of the CRS program is to support the goals of the NFIP, which include:

  • Providing affordable flood insurance to property owners,
  • Reducing the cost of federal disaster assistance to taxpayers, and
  • Encouraging communities and individuals to take actions that result in flood loss reduction.

Under the CRS program, flood insurance discounts range from 5% to 45% depending on the credit points earned. The result is discounted flood insurance premiums that reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community and state’s increased actions. The CRS program has three main goals:

  1. Reduce and avoid flood damage to insurable property.
  2. Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP.
  3. Foster comprehensive floodplain management.

In California, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) is working to bring more communities into the CRS program and to improve the standing of communities in the program. This website provides CRS program information and technical support for CRS. Section 110 of the CRS Coordinator’s Manual provides more information.

DWR CRS Strategy

Currently, California has 96 communities participating in CRS. This accounts for 65% of the NFIP policy base statewide, representing a majority of flood problem areas in the state. The CRS benefits more than 123,470 policyholders and saves property owners and businesses over $11.5 million each year. 

DWR’s CRS strategy has four main goals:

  1. Bring more communities into the CRS program.
  2. For communities already in the program, improve their CRS classification.
  3. Provide resources and serve as a resource for California communities.
  4. Review California’s state-based credit.

The strategy has four main elements and a series of projects associated with them:

  1. Encourage Participation: State staff promote the CRS and help communities join the program. DWR explains the benefits of the CRS to elected officials and other local decision makers so they will encourage their staff to devote the resources needed to join the CRS or improve their classification.
  2. Facilitate Credits: DWR and other state agencies help communities receive credit for state programs.
  3. Improve Local Programs: Training, templates, models, and examples help communities improve their floodplain management activities and receive CRS credit for them.
  4. Track Progress: DWR can see where improvements are made, make adjustments, and measure the worth of its efforts.

Creditable Activities

CRS Participation

CRS Users Groups

The DWR State CRS Users Group provides support and educational resources for communities that participate in the CRS or who are interested in joining or learning more about the program. During the group’s quarterly meetings, attendees can share ideas, best practices, and hear from guest speakers about CRS-related topics. If you or your community is interested in attending a future meeting, please e-mail the State CRS Coordinator at