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Why it May Make Sense to Have An Elevation Certificate When it Comes to Flood Insurance

Flood insurance isn't required on all homes, but in a storm-prone state like Florida, it's always a safe bet to secure it. The price of the policy is a bargain compared to the cost of damage that can occur from uninsured rising water scenarios.

Contrary to popular belief, flood insurance prices are not simply determined by the flood zone categorization of the property in question. They are determined by the distance of the lowest lying point on the property to the nearest flood zone. As a result, prices can vary widely from home to home, even in the same flood zone.

For this reason, having an elevation certificate can be beneficial. An elevation certificate (an "EC") is a document prepared by a land surveyor (or other licensed professional) that details the elevation of a home in reference to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), or the lowest point on the property. Your chances of getting the best possible price on a flood policy are greatly enhanced by having an EC (versus using the broad categorization of the flood zone category overall to determine price).

Then, when researching which policy you want to go with, you'll also want to consider whether you want to utilize a Federally-backed NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program - administered by FEMA) or a private company. And while an NFIP may be a less expensive option, their coverage is limited. Coverage limits max out at $250,000 for a dwelling and $100,000 ACV ("Actual Cost Value" for contents… the current value of your items based on regular depreciation and wear over time).

Private flood insurance, on the other hand, is written by private insurance carriers who are free to offer as much coverage as they want (or more specifically, as much as YOU want!), and they also provide RCV (Replacement Cost Value) for contents.

Some areas may not have a private option available (ex: some areas near the ocean/river), in which case NFIP will be your only option.

In the end - the main message we want to communicate is twofold. First, invest in getting an Elevation Certificate before pricing our flood insurance policies and second… think about what it would cost to truly replace your valuables and home and select a plan accordingly.

Any questions? Reach out anytime. 

Bekah Preset is a Personal Lines Sales Associate at Wren.