If you’re working on an Idaho construction project in an area with a high risk of flooding, you’ll need an elevation certificate, which will provide some very important information about the risk in your area and the types of premiums you can expect to pay for flood insurance. The use of an elevation certificate creates a greater understanding of a property’s flood risk.
Here’s a quick overview of everything you should know about elevation certificates.
What are elevation certificates?
The elevation certificate is a type of tool used by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to deliver information about elevation at a site to provide proper compliance with all community ordinances and regulations regarding floodplain management. The certificate also determines the insurance premium rate for the area based on flood risk, and can support requests to remove buildings from high-risk flood areas.
Information on the elevation certificate includes building locations, flood zones, lowest points of elevation and other important characteristics needed to assess flood risk.
The benefits of obtaining elevation certificates
There are certain circumstances in which obtaining an elevation certificate can be very beneficial for a construction company or property owner. The information provided in the certificate makes it easier to determine the risk for flood damage and allows for more accurate calculations of premiums so you can more easily determine expenses.
When to get an elevation certificate
There is not any downside or disadvantage to getting an elevation certificate for a project or property, so if you believe there’s any risk of flooding in a potential site, it can only benefit you to get the elevation certificate. As to when it could become financially beneficial, there’s not really any way to know for sure until you have one, but you can at least expect that the certificate will provide you with important information about the true flood risk of the property.
In addition, if you allow a flood insurance policy to lapse at any point, you have a 90-day grace period to restore it. But if it lapses for more than 90 days, or if it lapses twice for any period of time, you will need an elevation certificate, and likely will not be able to get one at a discounted rate due to having allowed the elevation certificate to lapse.
How to obtain an elevation certificate
The first step to getting an elevation certificate in Idaho is to contact the floodplain manager in your area to determine if one might already be on file for the property. If so, this will save you some time and money. Typically, the floodplain manager can be found in your community’s building, engineering, permitting or land use departments.
If there is not already an established elevation certificate, you can hire an engineer, surveyor or architect to get one done.
Interested in learning more about elevation certificates in Idaho? We encourage you to contact the civil engineers at Mason & Associates for more information about the process of obtaining elevation certificates and why they’re so important.