Everything About Elevation Certificate – Learn More About It Here!

What is an elevation certificate meant for flood insurance? When you live in a high-risk area for flooding and buy flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you will almost certainly be required to complete your policy with an elevation certificate. An elevation certificate lists the property’s essential features, including its position, flood zone, building features, and, most significantly, the height of its lowest floor. The form is being issued by the NFIP and used to calculate the flood insurance rates by insurance agents. You don’t want to pay more insurance than you need, whether you own a home or business. Surveying Braden Land will help. You can obtain a FEMA elevation certificate pinellas county fl through our survey company. This certificate, which shows the precise elevation of your property, is used to determine flood insurance rates, particularly in high-risk areas of concern.

What Does An Elevation Certificate Serve For?

 An elevation certificate is a document that measures the susceptibility of your property to flood damage and is a component that your insurance agent uses to calculate your premium for flood insurance. The certificate helps regulate your premium by estimating the risk of rising floodwaters entering your home’s lowest level. The policy is provided by the NFIP, a federal flood insurance program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and provides the following important information about your house.

  • Place and flood zone: NFIP has different zones that show the extent of flood risk of your land.
  • Building amenities: notable house features such as an enclosed garage
  • Lowest floor elevation: the property’s lowest floor is usually the most vulnerable to flooding. This may include your basement or garage, depending on your type of home, and it is up to a qualified surveyor to properly evaluate the correct elevation based on FEMA guidelines.

The lowest floor height will be the most crucial factor impacting the flood insurance premium from the study. This will get compared to your location’s Base Flood Elevation (BFE), the elevation at which the NFIP predicts that floodwaters will exceed a 1 percent chance in any given year. The further above the BFE is your lowest level, the less vulnerable your home will get considered for flood damage, and the lower the rate for flood insurance.

Is It Necessary To Have It First To Be Able To Buy Flood Insurance?

An elevation certificate provides valuable information about your land, but only if your home and flood insurance premiums meet all three of the following conditions will you be allowed to provide your insurer with an elevation certificate:

  • The purchase of your property is funded by a federally regulated or insured lender’s mortgage.
  • Your property is located in a Special Flood Hazard Zone, which is described by FEMA as a high flood risk zone.
  • You are buying an NFIP-supported flood insurance policy. You should be aware that private insurance companies also sell flood insurance under their name, which is primarily backed by the government, making flood insurance more public than private.

elevation certificate pinellas county fl

 You will not be required to obtain an elevation certificate if any of these requirements do not apply to you. If all of these requirements apply to you, you will need an elevation certificate to determine your premium, with some exceptions, before you buy flood insurance.

Nevertheless, for specific high-risk systems, there are exceptions to the elevation certificate rule. If your building was built before your state developed a flood insurance premium map, you might be eligible for a discounted flood insurance rate without a requirement for an elevation certificate. The incentives are intended to help property owners with flood insurance even though while implementing robust flood regulatory measures, their building was not built.

How Would It Be Possible To Get An Elevation Certificate?

Even if you don’t need an elevation certificate, it might be worth the effort to obtain one, as it provides valuable information about your property that might help lower your flood insurance premium. Your property may get located in a low-risk area, excluding the need for an NFIP-backed insurance certificate. But if the document indicates that your property’s lowest floor exceeds the level of Base Flood Elevation, it may qualify you for lower rates.

You should remember, however, that if the improvements in your building result in increased exposure to flood risks, your flood insurance premiums are likely to increase. For example, higher flood risks may result from a new garage or other home addition that changes your lowest floor level. For these reasons, keeping your elevation certificate up-to-date and consulting surveyors about the potential flood risk of any changes made to your property is essential.

Ultimately, if you choose to buy private flood insurance rather than an NFIP-backed policy, you may not need an elevation stamp, even in high-risk areas. Many insurers, however, offer discounts to consumers who have their certificates. For example, we pulled a sample quote from the Flood Insurance Agency, a private insurer, for a “V” zone building in Florida. We found that having an elevation certificate would reduce your annual premium by 32 percent for our sample house.


Your certificate of elevation could already exist, and you should always check if it does, as it can be quite expensive to get a new certificate. If there is no certificate for your property, you can hire professional assistance to certify your property’s elevation information and complete the document. If a current elevation certificate can not get obtained from one of these outlets, you can employ a nearby qualified surveyor to validate your property’s elevation details for a fee. Depending on your location, it should not take more than a week or two to hire a professional surveyor to complete the certificate. Definitions of qualified surveyors include a licensed land surveyor, engineer, or architect who is legally authorized to complete a declaration of elevation.