What is an elevation certificate

Elevation Certificate

Congratulations, you just purchased a new house and your mortgage company is telling you need to get Flood Insurance.

The first person you talk to asks, do you have an elevation certification?

What is an elevation certificate?

Why do I need it?

What is an Elevation Certificate?

An elevation certificate is a document that is prepared by a licensed surveyor.  The document breaks down the characteristics of your property that are necessary to correctly calculate how likely your property is to flood so the insurance company can accurately figure out the cost of flood insurance.

These characteristics include

  • Lowest floor elevation– this will be the lowest floor of your property that is most vulnerable to flooding
  • Base Flood Elevation- the elevation at which the flood map estimates is a 1% chance it will flood
  • Building Characteristics– things like basement or crawl space, attached garage or no garage
  • Location and Flood zone- NFIP has different zones designating your property’s level

Do I need an elevation certificate to get flood insurance?

An elevation certificate contains valuable information that can help you with purchasing flood insurance.

Most of the time, it is not required to qualify to purchase it unless the property is in a special flood zone area defined by FEMA as an area of high-risk flooding.

How do I get an elevation certificate and what does it cost?

As mentioned, an elevation certificate is done by a land surveyor. Land surveyors are the professionals who will certify the elevation information needed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Before hiring a surveyor to complete this, make sure an elevation certificate doesn’t already exist on that property. Asking real estate agents and prior owners could save you some money as the certificate can be expensive.

The average cost to get an elevation certificate completed is between $500-$1000.

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Should I get an elevation certificate?

An elevation certificate can be very helpful and help decrease your insurance rates significantly but it is going to depend on whether you are in a high-risk area or not.

Sometimes, an elevation certificate actually will help remove you from a flood zone and eliminate the requirement you need to get flood insurance.

We feel it is important to understand the need before moving forward with it. What does my flood insurance cost without it? If you already qualify for a preferred rating, it most likely won’t help save you any more money.

Reach out to your insurance agent to have this conversation first, if you don’t have a relationship with an agent or want a review of your insurance then click the button below to schedule a review with one of our trusted insurance advisors.



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