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Better Prepare with a Flood Survey & Elevation Certificate
Better Prepare with a Flood Survey & Elevation Certificate

No one can predict when a natural disaster will strike. Sometimes, the most we can do is monitor the path of large storms and manage the damage in the aftermath. And for scenarios like this, insurance providers will often provide some sort of specific coverage. For example, if your property is at risk of flooding in severe weather, an insurance provider should offer flood insurance. However, you, unfortunately, may still not be fully covered. Without a proper assessment of your flood risk, your insurance might not offer enough coverage after an incident occurs. And this is where Austin Engineering comes in; by providing you with a flood survey and getting you an elevation certificate for your property, you can be sure your insurance supplies appropriate compensation in times of need.

What is an Elevation Certificate?

When we create elevation certificates, their purpose is to determine how vulnerable your property is to potential flood damage. We assess your risk by indicating the difference in elevation between the lowest floor of your property and the ground level. Typically, when you are located in an area that is already considered a high-risk flood zone, elevation certificates are necessary. However, if you are unsure about your flood risk, or your property is near a lake, stream, pond or other water sources, it’s suggested to invest in an elevation certificate as well.

Why Might You Want an Elevation Certificate?

If you know you’re paying for flood insurance, but have never had a flood survey performed or not acquired an elevation certificate, that’s a problem. This can mean you may be overpaying for your flood coverage. By getting an elevation certificate and providing it to your insurance company, they can more accurately assess what you should be paying for coverage.

Conversely, getting an elevation certificate can help you become exempt from flood insurance. By performing a flood survey, we can help you determine if your property is well above the base flood elevation (BFE). BFE is the key determining factor in assessing your flood risk. Thus, in proving your elevation exceeds the BFE, your insurance may no longer require you to pay for flood insurance.

Do You Need a Flood Survey?

In short, if you are confident you are nowhere near a flood zone, you won’t need a flood survey and elevation certificate. However, as previously mentioned, even if you’re close to a source of water, it would be in your best interest to have your land surveyed. At the very least, you should confirm whether you’re in a flood zone or not. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides a quick and easy tool that tells you where your property may lie in terms of floodplains. Other reasons you may need a flood survey include:

  • If you are directly on the line of a floodplain
  • You are looking to put your home on the market
  • If you possess flood insurance via the National Flood Insurance Program
  • You are considering a basement renovation or expansion for your property
  • If you want to install measures to protect your property from flooding
  • You are in an area regularly affected by heavy rain and severe storms
  • If you want to know your risk of flooding

Where to Start

Not just anybody can help you with a flood survey. Check with your local floodplain manager or the previous owner of your home, first, to see if an elevation certificate already exists for your property. However, if you do not possess a certificate, only a state-licensed engineer or surveyor can guide you through the process of acquiring one. And, thankfully, Austin Engineering is exactly the surveyor that can assist. With two full-time survey crews on staff, we are equipped to handle your every survey need. Whether looking to protect your home or business from severe flooding, Austin Engineering possesses the tools and knowhow to get the job done.

If you have questions about the flood surveying process or wish to learn more about an elevation certificate, call Austin Engineering today at 309-228-9547. Also, our Peoria office is located at 311 SW Water St, Ste 215, Peoria, IL 61602.