Elevation Certificate

An Elevation Certificate is a federal form used by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to property rate flood insurance premiums and determine if a property is required to carry flood insurance.

How to get a Free FEMA Elevation Certificate

Yes, you can get a free FEMA Elevation Certificate and it’s not that hard to do. An Elevation Certificate can be used over and over again – all you have to do is update the photos in the document. It’s perfectly legal and accepted practice by FEMA, but not everybody knows about it.

Here’s how to do it step-by-step.

What is an Elevation Certificate

An Elevation Certificate is a form the Federal Emergency Management Agency uses to document the elevation of a structure in comparison to the elevation of the 100-year flood. The difference between the structure and flood elevation is used for many purposes such as:

Explaining the FEMA Clear Communication Initiative and Elevation Certificates

The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) “Clear Communication Initiative” is intended to inform federal flood insurance policyholders of their flood risk as reflected on the most current Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).  This is something congress mandated in the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA, and specifically Section 28 of that Act).  The reasoning is sound, but there are parts that may be confusing, so I want to try and explain “Clear Communications”.

FEMA Clear Communication Initiative Letters and What They Mean for You

In early 2016, FEMA began mailing out clear communication initiative letters to flood insurance policyholders with new policies effective April 1, 2016 or later, and/or renewal dates of October 1, 2016 or later.  The purpose of these letters was to inform the policyholders of their current, re-mapped flood risk rating, and explain how that rating was assessed, as well as how it would likely impact what one would pay for flood insurance.  The letters further explain how the property owner may reduce flood insurance premiums by obtaining an Elevation Certificate.

FEMA separated the letters into 7 categories, each defined by a letter, A-F.  Your category can be found in the bottom right hand corner of your letter.  The categories are as follows:

5 Ways to Lower Your Flood Insurance Premium

Who doesn’t want to lower the cost of… everything?  Flood insurance is one of those things where consumers might feel a little helpless because most flood insurance is issued through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) so the rates are what they are.  First, find a knowledgeable agent that really knows the National Flood Insurance Program.  Second, check out our list of the top 5 ways to lower your premiums.

 

#1 Get an Elevation Certificate

Should I cancel my flood insurance policy? Part 1: Conversations with Property Owners.

Property owners cancel their flood insurance policies for a lot of reasons.  It can be an expensive policy to carry, so we understand.  At MassiveCert we are in the business of helping homeowners untangle the requirements and regulations to get the flood certification you need as easily as possible.  We are on your side.

Here are some of the conversations we’ve had with concerned property owners like yourself that are thinking about dropping their flood insurance policies.

The FEMA 100 year flood zone explained.

I use the term “100-year flood zone daily for elevation certificates, LOMA’s, and explaining flood maps.  But it doesn't mean what you might think.  It means there is a 1% chance you will see a flood like the one on the FEMA flood map each and every year.  Since 1% is also "1 out of 100", the term "100-year flood" was adopted because that's easier to talk about than rattling off a bunch of statistics.

 

FEMA sometimes shows a 500-year flood on their maps and that is technically the 0.2% annual chance flood.  Try saying "zero point two percent annual chance flood zone" two dozen times a day and you can see why we use the short version.

 

FEMA is Changing the Elevation Certificate

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is considering several changes to the Elevation Certificate and Floodproofing Certificate.  The public comment period for those changes has closed, but the comments from the Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM), and others, can be viewed in the Federal Register.

 

Stay Safe.

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?”