FEMA has updated the flood lines and now you may need flood insurance. TLS is here to help and
hopefully save you some money over the next few years. We had one client save over $3000 the
first year on his flood insurance just because he updated his certificate from the old one!!
Here are a few questions that have been asked with answers that may help you.
Question: "I wasn't in a Flood Zone before, why am I in one now?"
Answer: Over time land has been built on, and as we build, we build more surfaces, (roads, houses,
driveways, etc) that water will not penetrate. We also build higher to be above the Base Flood
Elevation (BFE). When this happens, the areas surrounding the newer construction are changed. The
once higher area has now become the lower area. The change is not because one building or large
constuction project was built by your house, the change happens over a long period of time covering a
large area. The end result, the water has to find the lowest spot to come to rest.
Question: "What do you do out here and what information do they need?"
Answer: The surveyor goes to the property and records elevations of the natural ground around the
house, living area floor, garage area floor, and utilities servicing the building. He will also take pictures
of the building showing the different sides of the house and flood vents if any. If there are flood vents
and/or a crawlspace, the size is taken on each of them and recorded. This information is used by the
insurance company to obtain the quote for your property.
Question: "I am so far from the Gulf, why do I need flood insurance?"
Answer: Even if your residence isn't located near the Gulf, it will not mean that you are not
subject to flooding. The flood zones are detemined by the "lay of the land." If you are the lowest in the
area, then most likely you will be in a flood zone. Lakes, drainage ponds, streams, canals, and the Gulf
all have an affect on the flood zone lines.
Question: "Will this help me or hurt me?"
Answer: Yes and No, there are certain things that can raise, reduce, or even elminate your flood
insurance. Houses that were built before the 90's usually do not have these items and that is
what FEMA is trying to determine.
Items that reduce rates when in Flood Zones:
Flood vents in garage and/or building.
Raised utilities that sevice the building. (A/C, Hot Water Heater)
Elevated Living Areas, homes on stilts, raised foundations, etc...
Open Crawlspaces below elevated buildings.
The size and amount of flood vents and openings is a factor in the rate that is given to you for your
flood insurance. Just beacuse you may not have some or all of these features does not mean
you will have to pay insurance. The elevation of your living area vs the Base Flood Elevation (BFE) is
the main factor in the rate that you pay.
If you are interested in seeing where your property lies, you can visit FEMA's flood map service
Follow these steps to see your area:
Click on the link above
Here, you enter in your address and it will take you to the map where your residence is located.
Zoom out to see where the box is located on the map so that you will find it on the panel easier.
Click on the number located below the highlighted box with= "Retrieve Printed FIRM Panel"
The number and screen should look like this (ex.) = 12053C0352H
Once you have clicked on the panel number the panel will open and show the different flood lines.
You will need to know how to read a map from this point.
TLS charges $165 for all Elevation certificates in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus
counties and most certificates can be returned in less than 5 business days. Polk and Sumter county's
varies with price, so please call for a quote. We also provide you with (2) copies of the certificate, (1)
electronic copy, (1) paper copy. If you need an Elevation Certificate please feel free to contact us @
352-277-6550 or you can email us @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will need the following information to complete the certificate:
Address of residence to be surveyed.
A mailing address to send the originals to after being completed if different from surveyed property.
Email address, we scan a copy of the certificate and send that to you first, that email can be forwarded
to your insurance company to expidite your quote and cuts down on the mail time.