In the past several years, GdB has performed several thousand elevation surveys to assist property owners in navigating the flood insurance industry. Our streamlined process minimizes risk for our clients, helping them to balance the costs of the survey with the potential premium savings and structure protection. We use high accuracy GPS equipment to make sure the client gets the most accurate result possible. GdB also works closely with local realtors and insurance brokers to help them better understand how the structure of a home and certain features may affect Flood Insurance Premiums. We work with FEMA to provide feedback and stay up to date on the latest rules and code for local residents.
Everything you need to know about Elevation Certificates
What is an Elevation Certificate and why do I need one?
An Elevation Certificate is an administrative document used by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to certify the elevations of buildings in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood zone. Information collected for the elevation certificate includes the type of building, elevations of the ground outside the building, elevations of floors including basements and crawlspaces, and the location of machinery such as boilers and air conditioners.
Who needs Flood Insurance?
Owners of property near water, where the chance of flood damage is significant, should have flood insurance to protect their assets. Your mortgage or home equity lender (or in some cases, your local community) may require that you have flood insurance if your building is in a hazardous flood zone.
Why do I need an Elevation Certificate?
If your building is at or above the Base Flood Elevation (which is a number determined by FEMA for each flood zone), you are entitled to lower insurance premiums. The burden of proof of these elevations is on the homeowner. The Elevation Certificate must be completed by a Licensed Land Surveyor and serves as the proof needed if you qualify for lower rates.
According to most local building codes, elevation certificates are required for new construction and for "substantial improvements" to buildings in a flood zone. This is to prove that the structure was built in compliance with the codes and ordinances written to minimize flood damage.
But my home never flooded before Superstorm Sandy…
Sometimes there are properties identified on the Federal Flood Maps as being in a special flood hazard zone when, in actuality, the property is high enough to be classified as a low flooding risk. In this case, the property owner may choose to submit a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or a Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) to FEMA, which is a request to change the flood hazard designation for the property. An Elevation Certificate may be used to support a LOMA or LOMR.
Gayron de Bruin Land Surveying and Engineering structures the pricing model to benefit the Homeowner, providing feedback and advice on how to proceed after each step.
GdB cross-references its extensive database of County elevation data, sewer and road records, and the multitude of surveys already completed to make an estimation of the possible elevations for the home. If GdB determines that an Elevation Certificate may benefit the Homeowner, we will suggest proceeding to Step 2.
Minimum $375 Fee (Subject to change based on size of home and travel time)
We send a field technician to your property to take measurements and elevations around and inside the home. This step takes roughly 60 to 90 minutes of field time depending on features of the home. The homeowner or someone familiar with the property must be present.
Completion of Elevation Certificate Paperwork $300 Fee
We will prepare the Elevation Certificate form and deliver it to you in your preferred method (email or paper). You take it to your insurance agent, and they will use the form to adjust your premium.
Optional Step 4: File a LOMA Request $150 Fee
Depending on measurements taken by the Field Technician, a LOMA may be possible. In addition to the EC Paperwork, we will file all pertinent information directly with FEMA. In a matter of days or weeks, FEMA will grant the LOMA. We will forward the FEMA letter to you and you can then take the paperwork to your insurance agent for a policy premium reduction.
To get the process started towards saving on Flood Insurance Premiums, contact us at (516) 579-3111 during normal business hours and ask to speak to Doreen.