Elevation Certificates

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The average cost of a cleanup from flood damage, when you factor in costs like cleaning, flooring, electrical, even from only an inch of water can be over $10,000. Regular insurance doesn't provide flood protection, but the government does, in the form of the National Flood Insurance Program. To qualify and get proper premium quotes, you need an FEMA Elevation Certificate.

What is a FEMA Elevation Certificate?

Hurricane Irene flooding of Mill Dam Bridge in Centerport, New York resized 600At it's core, the elevation certificate is simply a recorded confirmation of where a home places on the elevation flood plain map, in this case set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Once a LOMA (Letter of Map Amendment) is approved, your home or business' new elevation will be updated and your insurance premiums adjusted accordingly. 

 

Why Is It Needed?

For communities in a floodplain, the National Flood Insurance Program has mandated a certain set of community management ordinances, in order to be eligible for emergency assistance, in the event of a flood. In order to have a property in one of these areas, the home must have insurance, and to get that insurance, they need a FEMA Elevation Certificate.

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Is a FEMA Elevation Certificate All You Need?

The FEMA Elevation Certificate only provides substantiated proof of a buildings elevation. To lower premiums further a property can get a certificate of flood proofing. Floodproofing is the process of making a home water tight as much as physically is possible. Usually floodproofing is applicable only to non-residential properties. For residential properties, there must be an exception granted by FEMA to the community to allow for flood-proofed basements. In order for this to happen, the entire community has to agree on a design standard for the floodproofing. This is simply an insurance liability and administrative issue. The caveat to this is that once floodproofing has been approved, the management procedure must be enforced, and all homes must be flood-proofed.

The cost associated with a Proper Survey and land map to obtain a FEMA Elevation Certificate is far less than what it costs in higher premiums in the long term. 

Key Takeaways

- An Elevation Certificate is simply a measure of elevation and location of a structure

- An Elevation Certificate is required by the NFIP to offer insurance against flooding and lower premiums

- The cost of a proper Elevation Certificate is less than the long term cost of higher premiums

Need Help?

If your interested in hiring a civil engineer or land surveyor, contact us today to receive a free quote.

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Hartford during a flood in 1936.