The short answer? It depends on your situation.
The longer answers:
I want to purchase flood insurance:
- If you qualify for a ‘Newly Mapped’ policy, no Elevation Certificate is required to place coverage. Additionally, if you qualify for a ‘Newly Mapped’ policy and have an Elevation Certificate, the EC won’t make a difference in your premium for several years.
- If you are purchasing a property that requires mandatory flood insurance and the last map revision was more than 12 months ago, you will need a current Elevation Certificate to place a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy.
- If you have a property like that described in #2 above you have the option in most states to purchase flood insurance through an alternate carrier that does not require an Elevation Certificate. This option is available in all states except AK, DC, HI and KY with some geographical limitations and only available for homes in an A/AE/AO flood zones. The good news is that this carrier offers increased structure and contents limits beyond those offered by NFIP ($250,000 structure/ $100,000 contents). The alternate carrier currently offers up to $750,000 structure/ $200,000 contents.
I want to remove my property from the floodplain:
- A current Elevation Certificate will be required along with several other legal documents to submit your Letter of Map Change to FEMA requesting removal of the property from the floodplain.
- The Elevation Certificate must be on the most recent Department of Homeland Security approved Elevation Certificate form, and must include the benchmark datum used, pictures taken after the most recent FEMA map revision date and be stamped and be signed by a Registered Land Surveyor or Civil Engineer with stamp and signature dated more recently than the most recent FEMA map revision date.
- Even with an Elevation Certificate, a property in an AO (alluvial fan) floodplain cannot be removed from the floodplain without additional documentation of ‘As Built’ measures to remediate or provide erosion control.