Elevation certificates (EC) are necessary when your home or business is in a high flood risk area. Your insurance agent uses the data from an elevation certificate to determine your flood insurance premium. FEMA provides a clear and detailed summary of who needs elevation certificates and why here: https://www.fema.gov/media-library/assets/documents/32330 If the data collected for an EC shows that your home is above Base Flood Elevation (meaning that there is a 1% or less chance that floodwaters will reach this elevation in a given year), it may be appropriate to apply for a Letter of Map Amendment. A LOMA is issued when a property “has been inadvertently mapped as being in the floodplain, but is actually on natural high ground above base flood elevation.”
FEMA’s guide offers several different options for obtaining an elevation certificate. Should you need a new EC, or if your bank notifies you that you need one, it is crucial to hire licensed professionals that will take you through every step of the process. At Godfrey Hoffman and Hodge, we staff licensed land surveyors and engineers who have decades of experience dealing with flood issues and FEMA in all of Connecticut. As we always like to say, “if you think it’s expensive hiring a good surveyor, try hiring a cheap one.” It may sound counter-intuitive, but it is best to work with licensed professionals who not only have experience dealing with FEMA, but who also use state-of-the-art technology and strict data quality standards to make sure our clients are receiving accurate information on their EC. This means that we avoid mistakes that could cost us or our clients down the road. Should any issues arise, or should you need to discuss your EC with insurance providers or FEMA, GHH will have been involved in every step of the process from the beginning, and will be well-equipped to deal with these issues.
Godfrey-Hoffman Hodge are also “Certified Surveyors” through Smart Vent, Inc. This means our clients are entitled to a full review by an independent certified flood manager, as well as a detailed Flood Risk Evaluation Report which includes insurance premium rates and mitigation evaluations.
Flood insurance, elevation certificates, and map amendments can seem daunting, confusing or expensive at times. By going through a licensed professional, you can ensure that the process is done correctly and in a thorough manner the first time.