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Flood Elevation Certificate Explained.

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

People shopping for flood insurance have probably come across the term “elevation certificate (EC).” Simply put, an elevation certificate for flood insurance determines your home or property’s susceptibility to flood damage. Whether or not you have this document can become a crucial question while shopping for flood insurance – but not all insurers require it.

While some private insurers don’t require elevation certificates, it is important for property owners to understand what they are and how they are used. An elevation certificate provides details about your property including your building’s location, lowest point of elevation, flood zone and other features that help to determine your flood risk. They are used to compare your property’s elevation to the base flood elevation on a flood map, and that information plays a critical role in determining your flood insurance premium.

However, elevation certificates are not always required to obtain quality flood insurance. Many private flood insurance policies, like those available at, do not require an elevation certificate.

Whether your insurer requires an elevation certificate or not, it might be helpful to know if an elevation certificate already exists for your home or property. Check first with your local floodplain manager. They are responsible for updating flood maps in your area and may already have one on file. Subsequently, property developers or your home’s previous owner may be able to provide one for you.

As we mentioned earlier, obtaining an elevation certificate can be expensive and burdensome, potentially costing hundreds or thousands of dollars. The total cost depends on factors like the structure, location and whether the building is residential or commercial. If your home or property doesn’t already have an elevation certificate, a state-licensed surveyor, engineer or certified architect would have to visit to your property and verify the elevation information to be used on the EC.

Obtaining a private flood insurance policy through doesn’t require an elevation certificate. So, if you’re looking for commercial, residential or excess flood insurance with fair and affordable premiums – without the hassle of obtaining an elevation certificate – look no further than


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