If your building was built before your community's first Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) was issued - meaning you have a pre-firm policy and your building is located in a high-risk flood area on the current flood maps, the cost of your flood insurance is required to increase over time until the rates reflect the buildings true risk of flood damage. This means rate increases of at least 5 percent, and up to 18 percent each year.
The 5 to 18 percent yearly rate increases may not stop without an Elevation Certificate (EC). An EC is based on your building's specific features and provides elevation detail not available on a flood map. The EC works with the flood map for your property to help determine the actual risk of flood damage. Having an EC will help predict when the 5 to 18% yearly increases will stop, but they cannot stop without one. Your insurer cannot determine how much you should pay for flood insurance until you get an EC. When you decide to get an EC, your insurer will either charge you an amount that accurately reflects your property's current flood risk (keep in mind, your rate will change from year to year because of adjustments like inflation), or allow you to continue getting the discounted rate, whichever amount is less. To obtain an EC, you will likely need to hire a licensed engineer, architect or land surveyor.
Keep your existing flood policy in force! If you ever allow your flood insurance policy to lapse for either more than 90 days, or twice for any number of days, you may be required to provide an EC, and you may no longer be eligible for the discounted rate you have been receiving.
Questions? More information is located at https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program
Prefirm Flood policy questions? https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1500393030712-92bfac4a148d85a9000c39980426b0d5/LETTER-D-June-26-2017.pdf