Specializing in Flood Elevation Certificates for New Jersey and Pennsylvania
The Three Most Common Questions about Flood Elevation Certificates:
What is a Flood Zone?
A Flood Zone is an area that the government has determined has a high, medium or low probability that a flood will occur based upon sever weather conditions such as the infamous 100 year storm or a major Hurricane such as Sandy.
How is a Flood Zone Determined?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) compiles the results of extensive flood studies, and publishes “Flood Insurance Rate Maps” (FIRM). You can view the flood zone map for your property by going to the FEMA Map website.
What is an Elevation Certificate and where do I get one?
The National Flood Insurance Program uses the Flood Elevation Certificate to certify the base flood elevation of residential and commercial buildings. A Licensed Land Surveying firms such as Stout & Caldwell Engineers & Surveyors in New Jersey completes the Flood Elevation Certificate.
Does getting a Flood Elevation Certificate guarantee my flood insurance rate will be decreased?
There are no guarantees however it is possible that a lower premium can be obtained, we see this again and again but only the insurance company can determine this once they have the Flood Elevation Certificate. If the structure is recorded at an elevation that is above the level at which the government has determined that flooding is probable, the insurance company has the ability to lower your rates.
Who is LOMA?
LOMA is not a lady instead she is an acronym that stands for Letter Of Map Amendment. If your Flood Elevation Certificate places your home or business out of the flood zone and the government agrees, you can submit a LOMA request form. Upon review and agreement with the information, the government will issue a Letter of map amendment for your property however your insurance company may still require you to carry flood insurance. If this is the case, you may want to talk to your neighbors to see what their situation is; perhaps their carrier would be better suited to insure your home.
Do I need to be onsite when the fieldwork is conducted?
This answer will vary but in general, yes someone should be home regardless if the property is on a slab, has a crawl space or basement. The surveyor will need to gather accurate square footage of the house along with garage (when applicable) as well as determine utility locations and positioning relative to the completed flood elevation. Therefore, someone will need to be onsite. This is also true if there are pets even if they are in the back yard.
How long will it take to get my Flood Elevation Certificate?
Turnaround times can vary based upon the companies current workload. Stout & Caldwell Engineers & Surveyors strives to have a PDF of your Flood Elevation Certificate emailed to you within 24-48 hours of our site visit with the signed and raised seal copies in the mail that same day.
Why are Flood Elevation Certificates Needed in New Jersey and Pennsylvania?
In order to determine your proper insurance rate, insurance companies will require that New Jersey and Pennsylvania property owners obtain a Flood Elevation Certificate certified by a licensed land surveyor or engineer. Stout and Caldwell can perform these elevation surveys and provide you with the report needed for your insurance company. The comprehensive report includes two original signed copies of the Elevation Certificate with raised seal, required photographs of the home and an additional black & white copy for property owners’ personal files.