If you have a current elevation certificate, you will not need to obtain a new one when the new maps are in place. The existing elevation certificate will be acceptable UNLESS there was a physical change to the building or the land adjacent to the building. If there were a change, a Correction Memo can correct the change in flood zone or BFE without affecting the original certification. This updated data is valid for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies, Community Rating System (CRS) discounts, and insurance purposes and must be utilized by the insurance companies to write the policies.

Existing home elevation certificates while still valid may use NGVD 29 measurements. To compare an existing elevation certificate to the new flood maps requires a conversion of the old elevation data to NAVD 88.

If your home is pre-FIRM (Flood Insurance Rate Maps) and permitted prior to Jan. 1, 1975, your flood insurance premiums are most likely based on subsidized rates. That means you are not currently paying rates that are based where your lowest floor is in comparison to base flood elevation for your area. The federal flood insurance program is phasing out subsidized rates and increasing these premiums annually to reach actuary rates. By getting an elevation certificate you will know what your actuary rate will be and when these premium increases will stop.

How do I get an elevation certificate?

Your property may already have an elevation certificate. The City of Key West has existing elevation certificates on line. The Monroe County floodplain management department also has some elevation certificates on file. You might also find your certificate in your mortgage closing documents.

If you do not have or cannot locate an elevation certificate, you may contract locally to have one done. The cost is about $500, depending on the size of your property.

If you join FIRM and contribute $100 or more, you will receive a $100 credit toward a residential elevation certificate from Reece and Associates. A donation of $500 or more earns a discount toward a commercial elevation certificate.

Please contact FIRM for additional at info@firmkeys.org.

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