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Do You Need an Elevation Certificate?

By April 11, 2016June 9th, 2020Flood

An elevation certificates (EC) is a document used to determine your home’s Flood Insurance premium and to provide elevation information necessary to ensure your home’s compliance with community floodplain management ordinances. The document is usually prepared by a surveyor or engineer, and is done separately from the 4-point inspection.

An elevation certificate is only required if your home was built (or substantially improved) on or after your community’s initial Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (i.e. A and V zones). For us in Pinellas county, the year that most of the FIRMs were put into place is 1974, but you can always check with your agent to confirm. Any building built after the FIRM was put into a place are considered “Post-FIRM.”

Even if your home was built prior to the Flood Insurance Rate Maps (or “Pre-FIRM”) it still may be beneficial to purchase an elevation certificate. You can submit the certificate to your insurance agent to determine your true risk rate. Your agent will be able to let you know if you are better having the Pre-FIRM subsidized rate, or the true risk rate with the Elevation Certificate.

If you are purchasing a home we recommend you to ask the seller if they have an Elevation Certificate on file as we can usually use older Elevation Certificates to rate Flood insurance. Also, some communities publish their Elevation Certificates online or store them at the local community office building so it’s worth checking with your community before hiring a surveyor or engineer.

If you have any questions about Elevation Certificates or Flood Insurance, please reach out to your agent or contact Brian Ford at