It’s no secret that floods are a major problem in Pennsylvania. The state has been named one of the most flood-prone in the country. And with the recent natural disasters across the US, preparing for a flood is more important than ever. That’s why it’s essential to know as much as possible about flood insurance in PA.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. So, if you live in an area prone to flooding or your mortgage lender requires it, you may need to purchase flood insurance.
This article will highlight 15 important facts about flood insurance in PA. By understanding these facts, you can make informed decisions about whether or not to purchase coverage and what type of policy is best for you. So let’s get started!
You might be surprised to learn that flood damage isn’t included in a standard homeowners insurance policy. So, if your home is flooded, you likely won’t be able to make a claim with your insurer.
This is one of the most important facts about flood insurance in PA. If you live in a high-risk flood zone and your mortgage lender requires it, you’ll need to purchase a separate policy.
Another important fact about flood insurance is that it doesn’t go into effect immediately. In most cases, you’ll need to wait 30 days after purchasing a policy before it takes effect.
So, purchasing coverage well in advance is important if you live in an area prone to flooding. The flood policy you purchase today won’t help if a flood occurs tomorrow.
If the President of the United States declares a flood a federal disaster, FEMA can then assign funds to help those individuals affected by the natural disaster. However, FEMA has noted that less than 50 percent of floods receive the official designation.
Furthermore, folks not residing in high-risk flood areas are only given a maximum of one-third of the entire disaster relief budget per inundation, while those in higher danger zones get the rest of the money. So, it’s important to understand that federal assistance may not be available if your home is flooded.
If you live in a high-risk flood zone and are required to get flood insurance by your mortgage lender, you may qualify for a subsidized policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
A subsidized policy means that the government helps to cover a portion of the risk, which results in lower premiums for policyholders.
The NFIP offers subsidized policies for those who live in high-risk flood zones and are required to purchase coverage. However, flood insurance can still be very affordable even if you don’t qualify for a subsidy.
For example, The average flood insurance policy in the United States for a primary home costs approximately $550 per year, equivalent to only $45.84 per month.
While flood insurance premiums may seem like a lot, they pale compared to the cost of repairing flood damage. The National Flood Insurance Program estimates that the average residential flood claim is over $39,000.
And that’s just for the building itself. If you also need to replace personal belongings, the cost of your claim could easily exceed $100,000.
While it’s true that those who live in high-risk flood zones are more likely to experience flooding, it can still happen anywhere. In fact, 20 percent of all National Flood Insurance Program claims come from properties outside high-risk areas.
So even if you don’t live in a designated flood zone, purchasing coverage is still a good idea. The peace of mind alone is worth the cost of the premium.
Just because your home wasn’t in a high-risk flood zone when you purchased it doesn’t mean it will always be that way. As development and other factors impact the landscape, flood zones can change over time.
As a result, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest flood maps. If you live in an area rezoned as high-risk, you may be required to get flood insurance even if you don’t have a mortgage.
Flood insurance isn’t just for homeowners. Whether you own or rent, you can purchase a policy to protect yourself from the financial devastation of flooding.
The NFIP offers two different types of policies: one for building coverage and one for contents coverage. If you rent, the building policy will cover the structure itself, while the contents policy will protect your belongings.
Unlike other types of insurance, you don’t have to wait for an open enrollment period to purchase flood insurance. In most cases, you can buy a policy anytime throughout the year.
However, there is a 30-day waiting period before your coverage goes into effect, so it’s important to have flood insurance well before a storm.
If you live in a high-risk flood zone, you may be eligible for a discount on your premium if you take steps to mitigate the risk of flooding.
Some examples of pre-disaster mitigation activities include elevating your home, installing flood vents, or retrofitting your plumbing to prevent backflow.
You must have flood insurance if you have a mortgage and live in a high-risk flood zone. This includes anyone with a home loan of any kind, including Home Equity Lines of Credit.
If you don’t have flood insurance and your home is flooded, your lender may require you to pay for repairs out of pocket or force-place a policy on you.
Homeowner’s insurance does not cover flood damage. To be protected from flooding, you must purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
Ensure you understand the difference between the two types of coverage so you can be adequately protected in a disaster.
14) You May Be Eligible for a National Flood Insurance Program Policy Even If You Don’t Have Homeowners Insurance
Did you know that you may be eligible for coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) even if you don’t have homeowners insurance?
It’s true. If your community participates in the NFIP, you can purchase a policy regardless of whether you have coverage through a private insurer for all the other risks.
The best time to purchase flood insurance is well before the storm hits. In most cases, there is a 30-day waiting period before your coverage goes into effect.
If you wait until a flood is imminent, you won’t be protected when the waters start to rise. It will be too late to purchase a policy by then, so don’t wait – get covered today.
Floods are one of the most common and costly natural disasters in the United States. If you live in a high-risk area, purchasing flood insurance is important to protect yourself from the financial devastation of flooding.
We hope this article has helped you understand Pennsylvania’s flood insurance basics. If you have questions, the team at i.e. Insurance LLC is here to help you! Please give us a call at 724-719-2093 or contact us online if you have any questions or want a quote. Thanks for reading!