When a flood happens, many personal and business-critical items can be destroyed. In NJ, the presence of multiple bodies of water as well as a close proximity to the beach place many businesses and homes in high-risk flood zones. Those owners are in need of an Elevation Certificate (EC) in order to get the proper flood insurance premium.
How will they determine flood insurance prices? Floods mean rising water, and knowing your building’s elevation compared to the estimated floodwaters in a major flood event will help you to predict these costs ahead of time.
This insurance process can be complicated, and acquiring an elevation certificate in NJ can be difficult if you don’t know what it’s needed for, or if you need one yourself. Below are some answers to commonly asked questions about ECs.
How Do I Know If I Need an Elevation Certificate?
If you’re building a business or a home on what’s known as a high-risk flood area or structure, you may be required to submit an EC in order for the flood insurer to issue coverage.
Your “full-risk rate,” or flood insurance rate in the event of a full-scale flood, will be specific to your property. Depending on your elevation, the full-risk rate could already be lower than a subsidized rate. An EC will help you to determine this, and this will all factor into your flood insurance premium.
EC’s are not required for properties that are considered low to moderate risk zones. If you need to provide documentation that your property falls under this category, you can submit a copy of the current Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) that marks the building’s location.
Talk to your NJ home building firm to determine whether or not you need an EC for your NJ property.
How is an Elevation Certificate Used?
An EC includes important information that is needed for determining a risk-based premium rate for a flood insurance policy. It will show the location of the building, the lowest floor elevation, building characteristics and possible flood zones.
Your insurance provider will use an EC to compare your building’s elevation to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) shown on your area’s flood map to determine your full-risk rate. The higher your lowest floor is above the BFE, the lower the risk of flooding, and typically, the lower the flood insurance premium.
When Do You Need a New Elevation Certificate?
You need a new EC when you make substantial changes to your home or property, such as a new addition. Your new EC will have to reflect the building’s newest characteristics.
If the structural information on your current EC is accurate, you probably won’t need a new one. However, you may need to provide additional information such as new photographs of your home or business to keep your flood insurer up-to-date.
How Do I Use my Elevation Certificate to Plan for the Future?
If you’re in a situation where you are subject to building code requirements that may change, flood maps that may be updated, you’re remodeling or you’re re-building, you may want to use your EC to re-elevate your property to lower your possible flood risk.
This will in turn lower your insurance rates and the possible financial impact of the flood as it keep property safer from damage.
Penn Jersey Development Company is a team of leaders and innovators that focuses on detail, value and sophistication for a seamless beginning-to-end home building experience. For more information on how we can help you obtain your home EC, contact us.