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Flood Elevation Certificate: When & How to Get One

Spring means wet weather in Wyoming and while we’re fortunate to live in an area rarely plagued by extreme flooding, the occasional high waters from winter runoff or an extreme storm can still occur. If you’re a home or business owner in a “high-risk” or flood susceptible location, your insurance provider or mortgage company will likely request a Flood Elevation Certificate (FEC) in order to determine your flood insurance premium.

If you need help determining if your property sits in a high-risk area, you can find out by looking at the FEMA flood insurance rate map, which designates the flood risk of specific locations. If you are purchasing a piece of property that is near a water source, or within a flood plain, your next step is to contact your municipal government for any elevation information or certificate that may already be on file for your property. For residential properties, the previous owners may have an existing certificate on file, or it could be with the deed for the property. However, if you’re building a new construction building or home and you’ve determined the land is in a high-risk area, you’ll need to contact a state-licensed surveyor or engineer to perform a survey for the FEC.

The survey required for an FEC tells you much about your property, including its location, flood zone (as mentioned above), and existing building characteristics. Most importantly, it’s used to determine the elevation of your property’s lowest floor. This is essential because it verifies how likely it is that flood waters will reach the lowest level of your property. It’s this key piece of information, determined by a state-licensed surveyor, that will be used to determine your premium for flood insurance. 

If you’re looking to purchase or develop property on riverfront acreage or another area susceptible to rising water, WLC can help ensure you receive the protection you need.  Our experienced, professional land surveyors are well versed in all facets of surveying, including those required for an FEC. If you need a land survey to acquire a FEC, contact WLC today.

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