Why do I need an Elevation Certificate?

Property owners are often informed by their insurance agent or lender that they need an Elevation Certificate—and their first response is typically, “what the heck is an Elevation Certificate?”

An Elevation Certificate is a form the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) uses to document the elevation of your property's structure in comparison to the elevation of the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).  A BFE is the flood elevation having a one percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. This is the regulatory standard also referred to as the "100-year flood." The base flood is the national standard used by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and all Federal agencies for the purposes of requiring the purchase of flood insurance and regulating new development.

The elevation difference between the structure and BFE is used for many risk, mitigation, construction, and insurance issues such as:

  • Determining flood insurance policy rates.  Without an Elevation Certificate, your home may not be rated properly and you could be paying unnecessarily high rates. 
  • Rebuilding the structure after a disaster to the proper elevation to protect it in the future.
  • Remodeling a property or raising it to help mitigation future losses from flood disasters.
  • Supporting a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA).  An Elevation Certificate is one of the documents included with an MT-1 (LOMA) application to FEMA which can remove you from the mandatory flood insurance requirement.

Only a state-licensed professional such as a surveyor, engineer, or architect (only in select states) can determine those elevations and they often need to access the inside of the structure to determine the elevation of basements, crawlspaces, location of equipment servicing the structure, decks, and other features.

MassiveCert can answer any of your Elevation Certificate, LOMA, flood insurance, flood mitigation, mapping or other flood risk questions.  Just give us a call at 844-4EZ-CERT or check us out at www.massivecert.com


Stay safe.