Do I Need a Flood Elevation Certificate?

Hannah Taylor

November 29, 2023

The state of Florida is well known for its propensitytowards hurricanes. As a result, many Floridians have explored the possibilityof obtaining flood insurance for their property. This can be a great move!Flooding can do shocking amounts of damage to a property in a relatively shortamount of time, even leaving it uninhabitable depending on the extent of thedamage.

 

Thankfully, homeowners don’t necessarily have to deal with aprivate insurance company when securing flood insurance for their property. TheNational Flood Insurance Program is a United States government federal programthat was created by Congress in 1968. It enables homeowners to purchaseinsurance against catastrophic losses incurred by flooding in communities thatparticipate in the program. Additionally, some communities that are deemed to bein federally mandated Special Flood Hazard Areas may be mandated by law topurchase insurance through the program. The legislation also has the effect oflimiting future development on flood plains.

 

If you’re buying flood insurance through a private insurer,you will almost certainly be required to provide the insurance provider with aflood elevation certificate. These certificates provide the insurer withimportant information about the property that may affect your policy. Theseinclude:

 

·        The location of the property and the specificflood zone you are on according to the National Flood Insurance Program.

 

·        The characteristics of your property, such ashow many buildings are on it, what kind of structure they are, the presence ofattached or detached garages, etc.

 

Finally, it will assess the lowest floor elevation of yourproperty. Typically, these will be the areas most prone to catastrophic damagefrom flooding, such as a basement or a garage. This assessment is not up to thesurveyor and must be made according to the guidelines established by FEMA. Thisis the defining factor of your certificate and is compared by the NationalFlood Insurance Program to the Base Flood Elevation, or BFE, as set out byfederal guidelines for your region.

 

While a private insurer may or may not require a floodelevation certificate, many ostensibly private plans are backed by the federalgovernment and are in effect part of the National Flood Insurance Program. Ifyour property meets the following conditions, you will be required to present aflood elevation certificate as part of your application process.

 

·        Your mortgage was financed through a mortgagesecured through a federally regulated or insured lender.

 

·        Your property’s location is in a Special FloodHazard Area as defined by FEMA.

 

·        And you are purchasing a policy backed by theNational Flood Insurance Program

 

Are you in need of a flood elevation certificate?Our trained surveyors here at First Choice Surveying can help. Contact us todayfor a free consultation.

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