What are FEMA Elevation Certificates?

FEMA-Elevation-CertificatesThe 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 though, you need a FEMA Elevation Certificate.

What is a FEMA Elevation Certificate

At the core of it, the elevation certificate is simply a recorded confirmation that a home meets the minimum elevation requirements,
in this case set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Once issued, it can then be used to make revisions to the maps used to determine insurance premiums. 

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.

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

– Required by the NFIP to offer insurance against flooding and lower premiums

– The cost of a land survey and proper elevation is less than the long term cost of higher premiums

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