Understanding A Flood Elevation Certificate

Construction & Contractors Blog

If you live in a relatively flat part of the Midwest, then there is a chance that you live in a high-risk flood area. These areas are prone to flash flooding as well as more sustained incidents when rainfall levels are relatively high. In this scenario, you may be forced to purchase relatively expensive flood insurance coverage. However, if your home is on an elevated plot of land, then you may be able to receive a flood elevation certificate. Keep reading to learn about what this is and how you can go about getting one.

What Is A Flood Elevation Certificate?

A flood elevation certificate is a document that is provided to homeowners that outlines the elevation of their home in relation to the surrounding areas. The certificate also indicates how this elevation compares to the height of floodwaters that can occur when rain and water levels are higher than normal. These levels are ones that have been previously reported due to flooding or that are projected based on nearby flooding events.

Once the elevations are considered, your home may be considered a high-risk when it comes to flooding. The risk is designated with a letter A or V. 

Sometimes, a specific map is used to determine flood risks. The map is produced by FEMA and shows all likely flood hazard areas. If you are in one of these map areas, then you may also be given a certificate with an A or V. 

The high-risk areas are noted by flood insurance companies and rates are determined based on these risks. So, if you want relatively low flood insurance rates, you will need an elevations certificate that shows you are in an area with a low flood risk.

How Do You Get A Certificate?

If you need an elevation certificate, there are a few ways you can get one. If you have recently purchased a home, then you can ask the seller if they have the document. They can then pass it on to you.

Your local town may have one file from a previous resident as well, and the individual to ask is called the floodplain or flood planning manager. 

Sometimes a home deed will have the information you need. If you cannot find it though, then you may need to speak with an insurance company, your builder, or an individual who is able to conduct an elevation survey in your area. Once you receive the document, it must be given to your flood insurance company for review. 

If you want to know more about elevation certificates, speak with a survey professional. 


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