Elevation certificates are important documents given to properties to provide an official record that any new buildings and improvements on the land that are located in an identified Special Flood Hazard Area are elevated to the proper levels. Elevation information is required by local municipalities to ensure all properties comply with floodplain management ordinances, and also help consumers to know that their home or business is not going to be in danger of getting flooded out.
FEMA encourages all communities to use its own Elevation Certificate to fulfill these local ordinances, as FEMA’s certificate can also be used by the property owner when obtaining flood insurance. Additionally, any community that participates in the Community Rating System (CRS) is required to use FEMA’s Elevation Certificate.
Here are a few commonly asked questions about elevation certificates from a land surveyor in Guadalupe County, TX:
Q: How do I get a flood elevation certificate?
There are a variety of ways you can get a flood elevation certificate. If you are starting the process from the beginning, you can work with a surveyor to take a look at the property and get the certification process done. If you are simply looking for a copy of an existing elevation certificate, contact your municipal government to see if there is any elevation information or a certificate that is already on file for your property.
Q: Will an elevation certificate affect my flood insurance rates?
The higher your property is above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), the lower your policy is likely to be. The inverse is true as well—the lower your BFE, the more you’re probably going to have to pay for a flood insurance policy. In most cases, building a property three feet or more above the BFE will save a tremendous amount in flood insurance premiums.
Q: Does every property need an elevation certificate?
No. In most cases, if you live in a zone that has low or moderate risk, or any zone beginning with the letters B, C or X, you are not going to need an elevation certificate. However, your insurance agent can provide you with more information.
Q: Do elevation certificates expire?
They do not expire, but elevation certificates that have recently been acquired will likely need more information than older ones did. If you have an old elevation certificate and want to get a quote on a new flood insurance policy, you might have to update your certificate so the insurance provider can give you an accurate quote. This might mean that you will need to call in a surveyor to complete the process.
This is just a brief overview of flood elevation certificates and some of the most important information to know about them. If you have any questions about the process of obtaining such a certificate or why having a certificate is so beneficial, we encourage you to contact our land surveyors in Guadalupe County, TX today. The team at Bettersworth & Associates, Inc. looks forward to working with you.
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