Why Do You Need Elevation/Flood Certificates on Flood Claims?

November 26, 2020 2:56 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Do you own a home in a high-risk flood area? If so, you’ll not only need to purchase separate flood insurance, but you’ll also need an elevation certificate. Because flood insurance rates are determined by flood risk, insurance companies need to know exactly how high above ground level your lowest floor is located. The higher it is off the ground, the lower your rates. That’s why it’s important to get an elevation certificate survey and flood certification in Mobile, AL.

What is an elevation certificate?

An elevation certificate describes your home and how likely it is to incur flood damage. It can be used to ensure that your home is compliant with local floodplain ordinances, to determine the right flood insurance premium for your specific home and location and even to prove that your home should have lower rates or be exempt from coverage.

The elevation certificate includes details about your property, such as the elevation of its lowest floor, information about the home’s build and photos. The certificate determines your home’s elevation relative to the base flood elevation. These two numbers help insurance companies decide how likely it is that your home will be damaged in the event of a flood.

For example, you could technically live on a floodplain, but your specific subdivision might have a high enough elevation that your home is exempt from mandatory coverage. Conversely, if your home’s lowest level is below the base flood elevation level, then it’s extremely likely it will be damaged in a flood, and your rates will be higher. Another reason to get an elevation certificate is when you’ve recently retrofitted your home to clear the base flood elevation—your rates will go down when you can prove your home is less at risk.

You’ll be required to purchase flood insurance if you’re in a 100-year floodplain, as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Depending on your location and mortgage, your lenders may also require you to get flood insurance. Whether you purchase flood insurance or you want to prove that you should be exempt, you’ll need to get an elevation certificate.

How to get an elevation certificate

Getting an elevation certificate requires a survey in Mobile, AL. Sometimes your local floodplain manager, seller or developer will have an elevation certificate already on file with the deed or county office. If you don’t have one already, you’ll need to work with a professional, state-licensed surveyor. You can pick surveyors from a state professional association’s list, or asking your state National Flood Insurance Program coordinator for recommendations. Make sure your chosen surveyor is able to perform elevation surveys.

An elevation certificate costs $600 on average, but the size, type and location of your home may cause the rate to fluctuate higher or lower.

Getting an elevation certificate is always a smart idea when you’re in a high-risk area, whether you should be exempt or otherwise. To schedule your own elevation certificate survey in Mobile, AL, call the team at Polysurveying today.

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