An Elevation Certificate (EC) is mandatory on Post-FIRM construction, but is optional on Pre-FIRM construction. It is required by the NFIP so that it can be certified by the NFIP as to the lowest floor of a building so that the policy can be properly rated:
The EC is to be completed by a land surveyor, engineer or architect who is authorized to certify elevation information when it is required for Zones A1-A30, AE, AH, A(with base flood elevations), V1-V30, VE and V (with BFEs). Community officials who are authorized to complete this form may do so also. For Zones AO and A (without BFEs) a building official, a property owner, or an owner's representative may also provide the information on this certification. If the community is a CRS participating community, building elevation information may be available through the community official.
The lowest adjacent grade and diagram number are required for all new business applications effective on or after October 1, 1997 if the elevation certification date is on or after that date.
PRE-FIRM STRUCTURES RATED UNDER POST-FIRM RATES
Pre-FIRM construction can be elevation rated using the Post-FIRM EC rates, which are more favorable if the lowest floor of the building is at or above the BFE for the community. Generally, the lowest floor level of a Pre-FIRM building is below the BFE, and it would not benefit the insured to pay the cost of the EC in an attempt to secure a later rate, but this is an insured's option.
AR AND AR DUAL ZONES
The EC is optional on all Post-FIRM and Pre-FIRM construction located in AR and AR dual Zones. The decision to obtain an EC and to request Post-FIRM rating is at the discretion of the insured. The EC includes the AR and AR dual Zone elevation requirements.
The producer is to attach the original of the completed EC to the Application. A photocopy is to be forwarded to the policyholder and a copy is retained by the producer.
All new business application, including transfer of business, for elevation rated risks with a policy effective date of 1/1/07, or later, must be submitted with at least two recent photographs that show the front and back of the building and are taken and dated within 90 days of the submission date. If the building is a split-level or has multi-level areas at ground level, at least two additional photographs showing views of both sides of the building must be submitted.
This requirement applies to all renewal and endorsement transactions adding elevation rating effective on or after 1/1/07.
The photographs must be submitted on the Building Photographs form that is part of the Elevation Certificate, and must include the date the photographs were taken. All photographs must measure at least 3" x 3" and provide a good, clear image of the building's distinguishing features. Analog or digital photographs are acceptable. Color photographs are preferred.
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