So you found out that you need flood insurance and that you also need an elevation certificate. So you start your search for some one to complete it. Generally this will be done by a surveyor. However before you have it completed you want to ask a few questions.

Here are 5 questions you should ask before hiring a surveyor.

1. Are you licensed
2. How long have you been doing this?
3. How long will it take to get certificate
4. What happens if some of the information is wrong
5. Will you provide color photos

So lets talk a little bit about why these questions. First of surveyors are generally licensed by a state board. This board makes sure that they follow certain ethics and guidelines. The next thing is how long have they been doing this? You want to make sure you are working with someone who has a lot of experience doing elevation certificates as they can be confusing and FEMA can be demanding.

Once they do the work how long will the certificate take? Whether you are waiting on the certificate to get insurance or get a flood zone change you need to know how long it will take. If it is going to take up to 7 days it may have an impact on your home closing if you are purchasing a property.

So you get the elevation certificate back but something is wrong. Your house is a slab but says basement or it says you have an attached garage and you don't. You want to make sure the surveyor is willing to make quick changes if some of the information is wrong. If they are not it could have a huge impact on your flood insurance rates or FEMA may not accept it at all.

The last question you may want to ask is if color photos will be included. If they are not it won't be a deal breaker. You just may have to take them on your own. The reason is if you are doing a new policy through FEMA they will require a color photo of each side of the house. This helps them verify the foundation time, lowest adjacent grade and other things. It also important to know photos must be taken within 90 days of new policy being set up.

As you can see there are a lot of things that go into a surveyor doing an elevation certificate. You want to do your homework to make sure they are done correctly as many are not. So If you have questions about surveyors or elevation certificates please visit our website Flood Insurance Guru. You can also visit our YouTube channel or Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru where we do daily flood education videos.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com