The Importance Of A Flood Elevation Certificate

6 November 2017
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


A flood elevation certificate is a very important document every homeowner needs while choosing a home insurance product. Especially when your house is located in a high-risk area, the insurance company will ask for an elevation certificate to decide the flood insurance premiums.

The purpose of elevation certificate

The term 'flood' here refers to rising waters. The purpose of the elevation certificate is to help determine the building's elevation when compared to the estimated height the floods might reach during a major flood disaster. This will let the insurance company decide the extent of flood risk and decide the cost of home insurance accordingly.

How the flood elevation certificate is used

Flood elevation certificates will show information about the property such as the building location, the lowest level of the home's floor elevation, the building as a whole's characteristics, and the flood zone. If the building happens to be in a high-risk area marked by the letters A or V on a flood insurance rate map, the elevation certificate will contain important information to decide the risk-based premium rate for the insurance policy you will buy.

The implications of an elevation certificate

The insurance agent will need the elevation certificate to compare the elevation of your building with the base floor elevation (BFE) depicted on the map and used for rating and deciding the cost to cover the flood risk. In comparison with the BFE, the flood waters are said to have a one percent chance of reaching or exceeding it in any particular year. The higher your lowest floor is above the BFE, the lower the flood risk. The lower the flood risk, the lower the flood insurance premiums will be.

Who will need a flood elevation certificate?

For some high-risk structures, the insurance providers have mandated the elevation certificate for the purpose of providing flood insurance coverage to your property.

The full risk rate of your property is exclusive to your property. An elevation certificate is essential to calculate the full risk rate of the property. The elevation decides whether the rate is lower or higher than the subsidized rate.

Who will not need a flood elevation certificate

If your building were constructed before the FIRM took effect for the first time in your community (also known as pre-FIRM), you would not need an elevation certificate to purchase the insurance coverage.

Contact an elevation certificates specialist for more information and assistance.