If you live in Rye, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Larchmont, Portchester, there is a good chance you should obtain a FEMA elevation certificate from a licensed land surveyor. TC Merritts Land Surveyors specializes in these certificates.
If you live in or grew up in a coastal town, you have probably witnessed the devastation flooding can have on a community and the cost associated with high insurance premiums. Obtaining a flood certificate may help bring down some of those costs. In some areas that are prone to flooding, certificates are required before you can even be approved for flood insurance
Don’t drown in flood insurance premiums! If you are unsure if you need a flood certificate or if obtaining a flood certificate could lower your premiums contact your insurance agent for guidance.
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 or Revision (LOMA or LOMR-F).
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 that the community 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 comply with this requirement.
Use of this certificate does not provide a waiver of the flood insurance purchase requirement. Only a LOMA or LOMR-F from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can amend the FIRM and remove the Federal mandate for a lending institution to require the purchase of flood insurance. However, the lending institution has the option of requiring flood insurance even if a LOMA/LOMR-F has been issued by FEMA. The Elevation Certificate may be used to support a LOMA or LOMR-F request. Lowest floor and lowest adjacent grade elevations certified by a surveyor or engineer will be required if the certificate is used to support a LOMA or LOMR-F request.
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. Floodproofing of residential buildings is not permitted under the NFIP unless FEMA has granted the community an exception for residential floodproofed basements. The community must adopt standards for design and construction of floodproofed basements before FEMA will grant a basement exception. For both floodproofed nonresidential buildings and residential floodproofed basements in communities that have been granted an exception by FEMA, a floodproofing certificate is required.