Flood Insurance

The NFIP affords homeowners, renters or business owners the opportunity to purchase flood insurance when their municipality agrees to enact and enforce regulations that meet or exceed FEMA’s floodplain requirements. This insurance is designed to provide an insurance alternative to disaster assistance to reduce the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods.

Residential Risk Areas

Residents of High-Risk Areas (A or V Flood Zones)

Homes and buildings in high-risk flood areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to have flood insurance. In high-risk areas, there is at least a 25% chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage.

Residents of Moderate-to-Low Risk Areas (X Flood Zones)

Homes and businesses located in moderate-to-low risk areas that have mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are typically not required to have flood insurance. Even though flood insurance isn't federally required, anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. In fact, people outside of mapped high-risk flood areas file over 20% of all National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claims and receive one-third of Federal Disaster Assistance for flooding.

Rhode Island Community Rating System

The Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary program that recognizes and encourages a community's efforts that exceed the NFIP minimum requirements for floodplain management. The CRS program emphasizes three goals: the reduction of flood losses, facilitating accurate insurance rating, and promoting the awareness of flood insurance. By participating in the CRS program, communities can earn a 5-45% discount for flood insurance premiums based upon the activities that reduce the risk of flooding within the community.

Benefits provided to the community are inclusive but not limited to:

  • Enhanced public safety
  • A reduction in damage to property and public infrastructure
  • Avoidance of economic disruption and losses
  • Reduction of human suffering and/or loss of life
  • Protection of the environment

The 2013 CRS Coordinator's Manual is the guidebook for the CRS and establishes the criteria for CRS Classification. It explains the Activities and Elements of the program, how credit is calculated, and what provides eligibility for credit. Communities can also use the manual as a guide for designing and improving their floodplain management programs.

The State of Rhode Island currently has eight (8) communities participating in CRS. The participating Rhode Island communities and the premium reduction they receive are below:

Community Entrance Date Class Discount (%)
Bristol 5/1/2013 8 10
Charlestown 5/1/2015 7 15
East Providence 5/1/2014 9 5
Middletown 4/1/2000 8 10
Narragansett 10/1/2007 8 10
North Kingstown 10/1/1993 9 5
Pawtucket 10/1/2014 8 10
Westerly 5/1/2013 8 10

Additional Resources