The Elevation Certificate is an important administrative tool of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It is to be used to provide elevation information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordinances, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, and to support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision based on fill (LOMR-F).
The Elevation Certificate is required in order to properly rate post-FIRM buildings, which are buildings constructed after publication of the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM), located in flood insurance Zones A1-A30, AE, AH, A (with BFE), VE, V1-V30, V (with BFE), AR, AR/A, AR/AE, AR/A1-A30, AR/AH, and AR/AO. The Elevation Certificate is not required for pre-FIRM buildings unless the building is being rated under the optional post-FIRM flood insurance rules. The form can be found on the FEMA Elevation Certificate site .
As part of the agreement for making flood insurance available in a community, the NFIP requires the community to adopt a floodplain management ordinance that specifies minimum requirements for reducing flood losses. One such requirement is for the community to obtain the elevation of the lowest floor (including basement) of all new and substantially improved buildings, and maintain a record of such information. The Elevation Certificate provides a way for a community to document compliance with the community’s floodplain management ordinance. Use of this certificate does not provide a waiver of the flood insurance purchase requirement.
This certificate is used only to certify building elevations. A separate certificate is required for floodproofing. Under the NFIP, non-residential buildings can be floodproofed up to or above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE). A floodproofed building is a building that has been designed and constructed to be watertight (substantially impermeable to floodwaters) below the BFE. For both floodproofed non-residential buildings and residential floodproofed basements in communities that have been granted an exception by FEMA, a floodproofing certificate is required.