What is an Elevation Certificate and a LOMA?
Elevation Certificates are needed to document the elevation of a building/home in relation to the 100 year flood zone, as designated by FEMA on their Flood Insurance Rate Maps or Flood Insurance Studies. In most cases, if an engineer finds, during the process of conducting an Elevation Certificate, that the elevation of the lowest grade adjacent to the home is higher than the 100 year flood zone, flood insurance is not required.
In this case you can apply to FEMA for a LOMA, showing the elevations we found, as well as certain other customer specific information. From this, FEMA will issue a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA), stating that the home is not in the 100 year flood zone. A copy of the LOMA is then given to your bank, in which case they will very likely tell you that you don’t have to pay any flood insurance premiums after all.
In other cases, if we find, during the course of performing the Elevation Certificate, that the lowest adjacent grade to the home is below the 100 year flood zone, this means the house is in the flood zone. When this happens, we instruct the homeowner to show the Elevation Certificate to their insurance company. The quote you get from the insurance company with an Elevation Certificate is usually a lot lower than the quote you would get without one. In fact, many people we find are already paying flood insurance and know they are in a flood zone; but when they show the insurance company the Elevation Certificate, they usually get a lower the premium, often by a substantial amount.