An elevation certificate (EC) is a document that provides information about the elevation of a building or structure in relation to the base flood elevation (BFE) of the area. The BFE is the elevation that has a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year, also known as the “100-year floodplain.” The Elevation certificate is used to show compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulations, and is often required by lending institutions and insurance companies as part of the process of obtaining flood insurance or a loan for a property that is located in a flood zone.
An elevation certificate typically includes the following information:
- The elevation of the lowest floor of the building in relation to the BFE
- Information about the type of construction used for the building
- Information about any floodproofing measures that have been taken
- The signature of a licensed land surveyor or engineer, who attests to the accuracy of the information on the certificate.
In New York, if a property is located in a flood zone and is being bought, sold, or refinanced, an elevation certificate may be required by the lending institution, insurance company, or by the local government, to demonstrate compliance with the NFIP regulations. An Elevation Certificate is also required by the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) when a property is located in a special flood hazard area (SFHA) and the mortgage loan is being originated, serviced or sold to a secondary market institution.
It is important to note that an Elevation Certificate should be prepared by a licensed land surveyor, who is knowledgeable and has the appropriate equipment and expertise to accurately determine the elevation of the building or structure. A surveyor will take precise measurements of the building or structure, as well as the surrounding area, and use that information to create an accurate and detailed elevation certificate that complies with the guidelines set forth by the NFIP.
Overall, an Elevation certificate is an important document that provides information about the elevation of a building or structure in relation to the base flood elevation, and is required by lending institutions and insurance companies as part of the process of obtaining flood insurance or a loan for a property. And it should be prepared by a licensed land surveyor, in order to ensure its accuracy and compliance with the regulations.