If you live in a flood-prone area, you’re likely familiar with the concept of the elevation certificate. An elevation certificate documents your building’s elevation, and is used for insurance purposes. Different insurance companies have different requirements surrounding elevation certificates, but if you live in a low-lying or coastal area, you’re likely in need of a valid elevation certificate to maintain your home’s insurance policy.
Elevation certificates are issued by qualified civil engineering firms. The results and veracity of your elevation certificate could dramatically affect your insurance rates or determine whether or not an insurance company pays out your claim, so it’s of the utmost importance that your elevation analysis is performed by a company that you can trust.
Elevation certificates in Columbus, GA don’t “expire.” Their validity, however, does change. If the federal government’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) change, for instance, you’ll need to obtain a new elevation certificate for your home. This is because your original analysis was performed with the old map in mind—the data must be lined up against the new map.
Additionally, many insurance companies require that the company that issued your elevation certificate remains in business. If they’re no longer operating, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to invest in new elevation certificates in Columbus, GA to maintain coverage under your policy.
How to get an elevation certificate
If you have any doubts about the validity of your home’s elevation certificate, or if you don’t know whether you have an elevation certificate on file with your home insurance company, you should consult with your agent as soon as possible. They’ll help you determine whether or not you need to invest in a new certificate for your home.
For those who do need a new certificate, the process of obtaining one is fairly simple. You just have to reach out to a qualified, trusted civil engineer in your area and schedule an appointment for them to come and survey your property. It’s important that you only work with a dependable civil engineering company. Even the smallest errors could invalidate your insurance policy or, perhaps even worse, prevent your insurance provider from paying out a potential claim.
Once the civil engineer you’ve hired to issue the certificate is complete, they’ll give you the certificate. Be sure to forward the updated certificate to your insurance agent as soon as possible. Make sure that the date of the certificate is clearly displayed, and consider sending the certificate to your agent via certified mail.
Even if you don’t live in a high-risk flood zone, it may still be beneficial to have an elevation certificate. It can help you ensure that you have the most accurate and up-to-date data on your property.
Moon, Meeks, Mason & Vinson, Inc. is a trusted civil engineering firm providing elevation certificates in Columbus, GA. If you live in a high-risk area and are hoping to learn more about your home’s flood risk, reach out to us today. We can also offer suggestions on site improvements you can make to safeguard your home and property.