Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) are prepared by FEMA, these maps show areas that have the highest probability of flooding and illustrate the extent of flood hazards in a flood-prone area. These maps are used to determine flood insurance rates for communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Properties located in mapped zones AE, AO, A, or VE are required to have flood insurance if the owner has a federally backed mortgage on the property.

An Elevation Certificate is a form completed by a licensed surveyor showing detailed information of a structure’s elevation to see if it is above or below the base flood elevation. An Elevation Certificate is also used to support a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision (LOMR), which are official exceptions to the FEMA Special Flood Hazards.

You may benefit from lower flood insurance premiums if you obtain an Elevation Certificate. Insurance premiums are based on the structure’s elevation above or below the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).
The BFE refers to the elevation associated with the "100-year flood," or a flood with a 1% chance of occurrence in any given year. The "100-year flood" patterns form the basis for the National Flood Insurance Program rates and regulatory floodplain management.
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If an Elevation Certificate shows your structure was built a certain amount above the BFE, your premiums will be less. A LOMA or LOMR may remove your requirement to have any flood insurance.

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