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FEMA Elevation Certificates

An Elevation Certificate is a form of the National Flood Insurance Program created  to compare the Base Flood Elevation data contained on the published FEMA Maps to the one determined by  field measurements performed by either a land surveyor or an engineer.

As required by FEMA, we transfer the field measured data obtained using appropriate surveying techniques and equipment to the Elevation Certificate form that requires both signature and seal of the surveyor or engineer preparing the certificate.

For many residential, commercial and industrial properties a Flood Zone Certification is a common requirement. In the 2005 ALTA Standards, Table A item 3 requires the Flood zoning designation based on the Flood Insurance Rate Maps published by the  Federal Emergency Management  Agency (FEMA). The zoning designation is usually sufficient when properties lie within areas defined to be outside of the floodplain or areas that have a minimal chance of flooding. However, there are many properties that lie within high risk flood zones and these properties are required by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to carry Flood Insurance.

In order to obtain an accurate rating for Flood Insurance, an Elevation Certificate may be required by the NFIP. Depending on weather the structures are Pre-Firm or not, the flood zone and the date when buildings or structures were constructed are relevant. Although the Elevation certificate is optional for purchasing flood insurance, it will be helpful to the insurance agent in determining the optimal premium. Obtaining an Elevation Certificate can save a great deal of money.

The Elevation Certificate can also be used to remove the federal flood insurance requirement from the property. It is FEMA’s requirement that lenders use only the published maps to make the flood zone determination for properties, at times that determination is inaccurate. A property owner may be eligible for FEMA’s Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision (LOMR-F) if he can prove that the building or structures on the property are above the base flood elevation shown on the map. These letters are used to remove the property from the high-risk flood zone based on the published maps by FEMA and by confirming by that the building or structures on the property are indeed above the base flood elevation.

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