No benefit, no payment for the property owner of record We do not want the person referring us to wonder whether or not their client will become angry with them for talking them into working with us: Local clients will get a shorter than 18 month payback on their payment to us, or they pay nothing.
The Super-Fine Print
We presume that the client has discussed the impact of a LOMA with someone they trust and that the mere existence of a LOMA for the structure is evidence of a benefit.
We presume that if the 18 month cost of "without" premiums reported by the client is greater than the sum of our charges plus the "with" premium reported by the client or quoted by a reputable insurance agent of our choice, that there is a benefit. In most zones the payback is less than a 12 months.
We presume the client due a refund for a partially-performing Elevation Certificate will un-wind its use and return the original, all copies, and all evidence of its existence. The payback may be a little slower in some cases, so the client may choose to accept the longer payback, or may choose a partial refund.
We presume that if the lack of benefit is due to a deal falling through or a sale, the existence of a productive Elevation Certificate is still assumed to be a benefit to the client who claimed an interest sufficient to ask us to generate the document. We often ask clients to wait until they own the property or to pre-pay the amount.
The benefit will generally come by the time the owner writes their next Flood Insurance premium check, thus generally within a year. There are infrequent exceptions, but the client gets to stop the effort at no cost, or go ahead with a slower payback. Also Regional rather than Local clients will be asked to pay a mileage charge, win or lose, but they generally get a lower cost due to our volume and business model for the service than using local or national services.
Why? We don’t want you delaying the project to consider the risks. We will spend less time doing the research and taking the field data, stopping quickly as soon as failure is probably, than we would teaching multiple potential clients to intelligently evaluate the risks and then having only some of them decide to accept the risk. When you work with us, we take the risk.
How? After studying FEMA documents and comments from various FEMA team members, and monitoring Insurance Company responses, as well as client reports, we can often tell very quickly whether we can save you money or not.
We reserve the right to halt or delay progress at any site There is sometimes a problem with an Elevation Certificate or LOMA, that make progress too painful or slow to continue with the site on a front burner basis. The few cases this has happened did not involve any pre- payments, but it happens so seldom we will refund any payments already made.
Examples include the time when FEMA changed the rules and temporarily took on a "Just Say No" attitude to LOMAs in an AO zone as they did a while back.
Another example was when I discovered they had no right to charge many folks with a standard crawl space more than our standard fee, but the process was incredibly stressful as it involved getting past folks in Kalispell Montana who were skipping a step thus ignoring the rules. I did a group of "diagram 2 / submit for rate" homes and then became bogged down in expediting them until "diagram 9" became the way to describe such a home.
Another example was when the "Community" refused to determine a BFE for an A zone and FEMA insisted they should.
Post-FIRM home flood insurance requires an Elevation Certificate, This is slightly different, in that we take less risk: You need the document, but your benefit is the satisfied Lender who would otherwise not close the loan, or would add the cost of a very expensive policy to your mortgage balance.
Damages Limit: 2X what you paid to us We might kick over a flower pot, or a fence might not work the same after we open it for the first time in 20 years. We will return up to your full payment if you are at all reasonable and have a plausible case. We will double that if you took a more expensive hit as a result of our work.
No compensation if your premium goes up. If your insurance agent cheated, or was incompetent, or used bad information to get you a low rate and then our document triggered a higher premium, we owe you nothing. This does not happen often, but it is not our charter to hide or to report insurance agent errors to the authorities unless it harms our ability to do our job and to get paid.
Only use document to establish or reduce Flood Insurance cost. You agree not to use the Elevation Certificate for a building permit, as the price does not include the risk of a low likelihood but possible error creating a large liability. Ask for a separate quote.
We help you make “Flood Insurance or not” your decision, but.. We do not share any risk you take on as a result of your decision to not carry Flood Insurance and nothing we have done or said should be interpreted as an assurance that your home will not flood.
Your homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover flood…ask any Hurricane Katrina victim.
FEMA reports 25% of flood damage is to homes not in any special flood hazard area.
If you want someone to share the risk, then buy a Preferred Risk Policy, probably for $350 or less.
Our FEE for work in our LOCAL AREA is due: In the case of an Elevation Certificate for a Post-FIRM Home: on delivery.
In the case of an Elevation Certificate for a Pre-FIRM Home: when shown annual Flood Insurance quote which if extended to 18 months will save more than our fee when compared to the price you reported or below an accurate quote without our work.
In the case of an Elevation Certificate and documents to use as proof of Grandfather status: when shown an annual Flood Insurance quote which if extended to 18 months will save more than our fee when compared to the price you reported or below an accurate quote without our work.
In the case of an Elevation Certificate to use as proof of a different Flood Zone than used by your insurance agent: when shown an annual Flood Insurance quote which if extended to 18 months will save more than our fee when compared to the price you reported.
In the case of a LOMA removing a structure from a Special Flood Hazard Area (zone starting with A or V) and assigning the structure to another zone such as B, C, or X: when shown the FEMA document.
In the case of a LOMA-Out As Shown to use as proof of a different Flood Zone than used by your Lender to determine you needed to carry Flood Insurance: when shown the FEMA document.
In the case of a LOMR-Fill removing a structure from a Special Flood Hazard Area (zone starting with A or V) and assigning the structure to another zone such as B, C, or X: when shown the FEMA document. Note the payments to FEMA or your community for support in this matter are payable by the client directly.
Make your check payable to “Bruce R Jahn, Land Surveyor” c/o Larry Lincoln 554 Clauser Drive Milpitas CA. 95035 or send it using PayPal.com to “LarryALincoln@Comcast.net” specifying your site address.
Post delivery Support: LOMA In the case of the LOMA where you have an ongoing policy, you likely qualify for a refund of the premium for the policy year that was active at the date on the LOMA and a refund for any premiums paid for a policy to be in force after that date. We provide a pair of letters and will discuss the written process we recommend to get the refund. It is not guaranteed, but it has worked many times in either exactly or in a similar form. If you follow the process and come across a problem, we can make a few calls on your behalf which will likely result in the refund if you started the process by sending the letters we provide.
In the case of the LOMA where you have no ongoing policy and have an ongoing loan that should currently be covered by flood insurance, you will likely get a horrible bill for a non-refundable but quickly cancel-able private flood insurance policy during the time it takes to get the response from FEMA. This policy is, again, generally not refundable and is very expensive, probably $200 per month. Get a FEMA/NFIP policy, probably from your regular insurance agent, and present it to your lender to avoid or quickly stop the expense. As soon as you get your LOMA, find someone in your lender’s organization who knows what a LOMA means and seems to care about getting proof of your new Flood Zone status into their system and FAX that person a copy of the letter we provide, and a copy of the LOMA. Include a copy of a bill or letter or statement from your lender so that person will get the right account information with no effort, and follow up with that person if possible to be sure it did not fall into a crack. If there is an issue you can’t resolve, we can make a few calls if you find us a starting point.
Post delivery Support: Elevation Certificate In the case of the Elevation Certificate, your Insurance Agent will sometimes get you the correct rate with no help or encouragement from us. We have found many cases where the correct rate took a phone call or two from us and we have developed a few extra documents to handle a certain exception that is very common and may result in a $1,000 difference in premiums with and without our support, even with the same data on the Elevation Certificate. We have never required an additional charged for such calls. You may want to send us a copy of the quote so we can verify their assumptions and see if the result looks reasonable.