What is an Elevation Certificate? And do I need one to obtain a quote?

An Elevation Certificate is a form showing the elevation of a building’s lowest floor relative to the height water would reach in a serious (1 percent annual chance or “100-year”) flood. The certificate is used to show compliance with community floodplain management ordinances and to determine the proper flood insurance premium rate.

Mostly likely you will need an Elevation Certificate if the building is located in a high-risk flood zone (Special Flood Hazard Area.) In the past, only homes built after the community's initial Flood Insurance Rate Map was put in place (post-FIRM construction) required Elevation Certificates in high-risk areas.

Before hiring a surveyor for an Elevation Certificate, check whether the community participates in the Community Rating System (CRS). Communities participating in the CRS are required to maintain a copy of Elevation Certificates for new construction or substantial improvement in high-risk flood areas made after the community joined the CRS. An additional resource for the Elevation Certificate is the building's previous owner.

What flood zone do I live in? What is my property's flood risk?

If the property is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), which is shown on the FIRM as zones beginning with the letters A or V, that there is a high risk of flooding. If the property is located in Zone B, C, or X, it is considered to have a moderate-to-low risk.

Is flood insurance mandatory for my property? Will the lender require it?

If the property is located in an SFHA and has a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender, you will be required to purchase flood insurance for the property. If the property is located in a moderate- to low-risk area, flood insurance is not mandatory; however, it is strongly recommended, and some lenders still might require it.

What flood damage will and won't be covered?

Generally, the flood insurance policy covers physical damage caused to the building and/or its contents by a flood. Below are some more detailed examples of what is and isn't covered by flood insurance. Refer clients to the Summary of Coverage (PDF 108K) Text Only Version (14K) for additional information.

How can I pay for my flood insurance policy?

The NFIP accepts personal checks, money orders, and credit cards, including: American Express, Discover Card®, Master Card®, or Visa®. Payment must be made for the full year's premium.

 How do I know that my claim will be paid?

An NFIP policy is fully backed by the Federal government, which means that even if there is a catastrophic flood, the NFIP will pay flood claims.