Steps To Get Your Flood Elevation Certificate

Construction & Contractors Blog

Getting a flood elevation certificate is imperative for flood-prone areas, as it documents your building's elevation. This certificate is mandatory before you can obtain an accurate flood insurance policy quote.

Your insurance agent needs the information contained in your flood elevation certificate to compare with base flood elevation(BFE), which determines how high the level of water will rise in the event of a base flood.

The base flood elevation does have a bearing on flood insurance rates. There is a correlation between how high your property is above (BFE) base flood elevation and the actual cost of the flood policy. In high-risk flood areas, you are likely to have a lower flood insurance policy if your BFE is high. Conversely, if you BFE is lower, you are most likely to have a higher flood insurance policy.

It is worth noting that building or modifying your home to reflect 3 feet or more above BFE can result in significant savings in the premiums you are paying on your flood policy.

For instance, a single family home, without a basement, built 3ft above BFE will enjoy estimated savings across a 10-year period amounting to $90,000 according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

How to Get an Elevation Certificate

The process of getting a flood elevation certificate is fairly easy and will generally involve two steps assuming you are starting the process from the very beginning.

1. Check with your municipal government office to see if there is any information or certificate on file for your property just to be sure that this process has not been initiated before for your property.

2. If not, then you can go ahead to enlist the services of a state-licensed surveyor, architect or engineer who will do the elevation certificate.

Depending on the complexity of the job and location, the cost of having a flood elevation certificate may vary from approximately $500 to $2000 or more.

It is advisable to get several quotes from different service providers to choose the best deal possible.

If your property is not in a high-risk zone or falls under low to moderate risk zone, you might not need a flood elevation certificate. But to make this determination, it will be prudent to seek the advice of your local insurance agent.

A lot of property owners tend to procrastinate getting a flood elevation certificate. Nature being as unpredictable as she is you may find yourself caught off guard regarding such an important matter. With such huge losses hanging in the balance, immediate action is imperative. Contact a company like Crest Engineering Associates for more information and assistance. 

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