Community Rating System Program

image of flooding

Pierce County participates in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Community Rating System (CRS) program. CRS is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum National Flood Insurance Program requirements. 

Pierce County’s participation in the CRS program requires an annual recertification of the activities that presently result in a 40% reduction in flood insurance policy premiums for properties in unincorporated Pierce County.

CRS Classes

From the FEMA Community Rating System Fact Sheet 2019:

The CRS uses a Class rating system that is similar to fire insurance rating to determine flood insurance premium reductions for residents. CRS Classes are rated from 9 to 1. Today, most communities enter the program at a CRS Class 9 or Class 8 rating, which entitles residents in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) to a 5 percent discount on their flood insurance premiums for a Class 9 or a 10 percent discount for Class 8. 

As a community engages in additional mitigation activities, its residents become eligible for increased National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy premium discounts. Each CRS Class improvement produces a 5 percent greater discount on flood insurance premiums for properties in the SFHA.

2020 May CRS national map


Timeline of Pierce County’s participation in the CRS Classes

  • 1995 Pierce County starts at Class 7
  • 1999 improves to a Class 5: Being the first county in the nation to score so high
  • 2002 improves to a Class 3: Again, being the first county in the nation to score so high_
  • 2009 improves to Class 2 
  • 2020 Pierce County maintains over 80 miles of river levees. Pierce County mails informational brochures to all floodplain residents each year. Average SFHA premium discount: $784.

Pierce County is one of only four counties in the nation to be a Class 2 or better, which is shared by our neighbors King and Thurston counties. Every South Puget Sound community that participates in the CRS program currently receives between a 20% to 40% discount on NFIP flood insurance and all area communities are encouraged to join.

*CRS: Community Rating System

*NFIP: National Flood Insurance Program

*SFHA: Special Flood Hazard Area

Additional Resources

Document Library

2021 Community Rating Service verification documents