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Experts in Elevation Certificates... Since 1987


The Flood Elevation Certificate is an important tool of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It is used to certify building elevations if the building is located in a SFHA in order to:

  • Determine the proper flood insurance premium rate for the building.

  • Support a request of a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision based on fill (LOMR-F).

The elevation information must be submitted on the Elevation Certificate (FEMA Form 086-0-33) in effect at the time that the Elevation Certificate was completed and signed. Elevation Certificates can only be completed by a licensed land surveyor, engineer, or architect who is licensed by the State to perform such functions. 


If your home or business is in a high-risk area, your
insurance agent will likely need an Elevation Certificate (EC) to determine your flood insurance premium. Floods mean rising water. Knowing your building’s elevation compared to the estimated height floodwaters will reach in a major flood helps determine your flood risk and the cost of your flood insurance. An EC documents the elevation of your building for the floodplain managers enforcing local building ordinance, and for insurance rating purposes.


If your building is in a high-risk area—a zone indicated with the letters A or V on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)—the EC includes important information that is needed for determining a risk-based premium rate for a flood insurance policy. For example, the EC shows the location of the building, Lowest Floor Elevation, building characteristics, and flood zone. Your insurance agent will use the EC to compare your building’s elevation to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) shown on the map being used for rating and determine the cost to cover your flood risk. The BFE is the elevation that floodwaters are estimated to have a 1 percent chance of reaching or exceeding in any given year. The higher your lowest floor is above the BFE, the lower the risk of flooding. Lower risk typically means lower flood insurance premiums.

Our creeks, rivers and bay are a restless landscape in constant motion.  As flooding becomes a more common occurrence, an increasing number of property owners will recognize their need for flood insurance.  Let us help by providing you and/or your client(s) with a professionally prepared FEMA Elevation Certificate.   Advanced Surveys, Inc. is a licensed and insured Professional Land Surveying business that was established in 1975.  During our 40+ years in business, we have completed a vast amount of Flood Elevation Certifications throughout Maryland and Virginia. 

Our crews are equipped with the latest GPS survey equipment and are field networked to our office so that we can provide quick, efficient service.    

The role of a Certified Floodplain Managers (CFM) is expanding due to increases in disaster losses, the emphasis on mitigation to alleviate the cycle of damage-rebuild-damage, and a recognized need for professionals to adequately address these issues.   Scott Collinson has not only been awarded the CFM designation but he has also been one of the few people in private industry to attend FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI) floodplain programs.  These are the same programs attended by FEMA employees and other governmental floodplain management personnel.  He has graduated from  the following EMI national programs: "Retrofitting Flood-Prone Residential Buildings", "Managing Floodplain Development Through The National Flood Insurance Program" and "Advanced Floodplain Management Concepts".  This means you not only get expert work with the land surveying services but you gain access to a nationally certified professional to work with your specific issues relating to your property.  Always make sure that any company you have performing an Elevation Certificate survey, whether it is residential or commercial, has a Certified Floodplain Manager on their full-time staff. 

All FEMA required reports and photographs are prepared by our professionally trained field/office technicians.    Deliverables are normally sent by email, fax and/or first class mail.

General FEMA Elevation Certificate Information

An Elevation Certificate compares a property’s elevation data to the Base Flood elevation data.  A licensed Surveyor or Engineer makes actual field measurements using survey instruments and techniques to obtain the property’s elevation data and then transfers that data to the Certificate which is an official form of the National Flood Insurance Program.  It would be our pleasure to give you a free estimate and answer any questions you may have. Don’t wait, contact us today! 

All of us saw the catastrophic results of hurricane Katrina in 2005.  FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) says; “Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States.”  Anyone who owns a home in or near an area prone to flooding should ask the question “Is my home at risk for flooding?”  Most homeowners want the piece of mind that comes from the certainty of knowing they are appropriately insured.  At the same time, no one wants their insurance company to err on the side of caution and charge a large premium for flood insurance when they do not need it.  Elevation Certificates are used to rate your buildings.  

The FEMA Elevation Certificate is an important administrative tool of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  It is to be used to provide information necessary to ensure compliance with community floodplain management ordnances, to determine the proper insurance premium rate, and to support a request for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision based on Fill (LOMR-F).

Advanced Surveys, Inc. uses the latest survey equipment and software to do an actual field survey to determine your building elevations.  The certificate is completed under the supervision of a Registered Professional who certifies the Elevation Certificate.  Don’t wait, contact us today!

Your Elevation Certificate may help you benefit from a lower flood insurance premium.

Most flood insurance coverage is provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Rating NFIP flood insurance is complicated and involves multiple rating elements. But, if your building meets certain elevations and other criteria your premiums may lower. Check with you Insurance Agent.

What Happens After You Place Your Order? • We schedule an on-site visit. You do not have to be home unless you need to allow access to your property for a basement, crawl space, sunken room, locked gates or a dog fenced in where the surveyor needs access. • Research is done on your property from both public and our own extensive sources (we have been in business for over 30 years). Maps, deeds, tax maps and location of monuments or benchmarks are obtained.

Monuments away from site are measured with survey instruments • Our survey crew searches for and locates monuments or benchmarks, near your property, that have known elevations in the elevation datum (either NGVD 1929 or NAVD 1988) on which the Base Flood Elevation is based. Sometimes these monuments are miles away from the site and or buried making them difficult to find. This phase of the survey can be very time consuming. • In some cases calculations are done for datum conversion. • Survey measurements are taken on these monuments and tied into the subject property with precision survey instruments and calculations

For flood insurance purposes, the underwriter needs to know the lowest elevation of various points in order to determine if a rate loading or surcharge is necessary.

The field crew sends the field measurements and calculations to a Elevation Certificate Specialist in our office, who, then compares the elevations of your home to the Base Flood Elevation on FEMA's flood map for your community. All of the surveyors involved are very careful to maintain accuracy and check their work, which is supervised by a Professional Land Surveyor

The Professional Land Surveyor then completes the certificate and signs and seals it. • Arrangements are made with you, giving you an option of delivery of the completed certificate.


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