Community Rating System (CRS)
The Community Rating System (CRS) Opens a New Window. was created to encourage communities to establish a floodplain management program that encourages floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) requirements. This program provides communities with discounts to flood insurance rates.
A community’s CRS Class determines flood insurance premium reductions. Policyholders in a CRS community can receive premium reductions from five percent to as much as 45 percent for an insured building in a CRS Class 1 community.
Each CRS participating community is assigned a class number ranging from 1 to 10, based on credit points it earns for implementing various floodplain management practices. A CRS Class 1 is the most favorable classification, and CRS Class 9 is an introductory class. A community with a CRS Class 10 designation no longer participates in the CRS.
The insurance premium reduction is based on whether a property is in or out of the Special Flood Hazard Area. The premium reduction for properties in a Special Flood Hazard Area increases according to the community’s CRS Class. A community’s classification is based on the total number of credit points it earns.
Monroe County participates in the NFIP and the CRS on behalf of the homeowners living in unincorporated areas.
Current Class Designation: 3
Draft Report Shows Unincorporated Monroe County as a Class 3 for 2022
Due to Monroe County’s efforts over the past five years in the voluntary Community Rating System (CRS), most of the nearly 14,400 National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders in unincorporated Monroe County are expected to receive new automatic CRS premium discounts of 35 percent beginning April 1, 2022. This is an increase from the current 25 percent discount. Originally thought to be classified as a Class 4, the County will be designated as a Class 3. The CRS rewards communities that take actions exceeding the minimum NFIP requirements to protect people and property from flooding.
Unincorporated Monroe County will join a very elite group of other communities in a Class 3 or lower designation. According to the NFIP Insurance Manual, the City of Ocala is currently the only community ranked a Class 3 or lower of the more than 250 participating Florida communities. Nationwide, only 14 communities ranked as a Class 3 or lower of the 1,700 participating communities.
Policyholders in the highest risk areas of flooding in unincorporated Monroe County, which accounts for about 96 percent of the policyholders, will receive the 35 percent discount. Some policyholders in the X Zone will receive discounts of 10 percent. Policyholders who have preferred risk policies will not receive discounts since these policies already receive low rates. Contact your insurance agent to learn specifics about your policy.
CRS officials sent Monroe County a letter outlining the preliminary approved Class 3 designation. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Department of Homeland Security will issue the final acceptance. Once accepted, the Class 3 premium discounts will save policyholders in unincorporated Monroe County about $7.5 million a year, an average of $522 per policy per year from the current Class 5 average of $373.
Monroe County entered the CRS program in 2016 at a Class 6 with an annual savings of $3.6 million and a 20 percent discount to policyholders. In 2017, the County received a Class 5 designation with an annual savings of just over $5 million and a 25 percent discount to policyholders. To date, the County has saved approximately $16.5 million that will now increase by $7.5 million annually if the County continues to maintain program and regulatory status.
The County set its sights on a Class 4 designation, which is no easy feat with hefty requirements, right before Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys in 2017, requiring a lot of the work to restart. The premium discounts are based on a complex formula that assigns points for more than 100 possible actions that reduce flood risk. The County, led by a private CRS consultant Lori Lehr, increased its points by completing many new analyses and processes.
The County completed the following threshold items to achieve the lower rating.
- Repetitive Loss Area Analysis: shows geographically at-risk areas where mitigation techniques can eliminate flood risk.
- Masterplan: includes sea-level rise modeling to predict future stormwater facility and infrastructure failures to encourage re-engineering to maintain a resilient community.
- Development of a comprehensive Drainage Facility Maintenance Plan: used internally by county staff.
- Implementation of a requirement to elevate all new residential structures one foot above base flood elevation. (Currently being considered by the State of Florida as a mandatory requirement in the Florida Building Code).
- Amendment of land development code to require all structures, even mobile homes in mobile home parks, to meet minimum design elevation requirements when replaced.
- Updated the Monroe County Local Mitigation Strategy: include additional CRS requirements and CRS credit.
The process included organizing a 13-person committee that met for nearly a year to complete the Program for Public Information.
When you renew your flood insurance policy, check the "Community Rating Number" stated on the policy. This will translate to discounts on your flood insurance.
Annual CRS Floodplain Management Plan Reports
- 2021 CRS Annual Floodplain Management Progress Report
- 2019 CRS Annual Floodplain Management Progress Report
Monroe County FEMA Mitigation Reconstruction Projects
Watershed Management Plan
- Watershed Management Plan (Note: very large PDF document may take longer to completely display)