Shapiro Administration urges consumers to stay protected with flood insurance furing Flood Awareness Week

The Insurance Department encourages Pennsylvanians to protect their homes, businesses, and possessions – and reminds Pennsylvanians that recently purchased flood insurance policies can take up to 30 days to go into effect.

During Pennsylvania flood awareness week, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department (PID) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) reminds consumers about the importance of flood insurance to protect consumers from the costly repairs often associated with flood damage and urges property owners to consider purchasing flood insurance to protect their homes, businesses and possessions.

All of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties have seen destructive flooding, yet just about 1 percent of households in the state are currently insured against flooding.

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“After flooding disasters, PID hears devastating stories from residents who thought they were covered for flood damage through their homeowners’ insurance policy but were not,” said Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Michael Humphreys. “As we begin Pennsylvania’s Flood Awareness Week, we want to help consumers understand that flood insurance is generally not included in a standard homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy. We encourage consumers to consider flood coverage to protect against potentially costly repairs.”

Humphreys, chair of the Flood Insurance Premium Assistance Task Force that was established by Act 22 of 2023, which Governor Shapiro signed into law, added, “Our Task Force has been laser-focused on how to potentially reduce flood insurance costs for Pennsylvanians and strategies to raise flood insurance awareness. My colleagues at the Departments of Banking and PEMA, Senators Baker and Santarsiero, and Representatives Warren and Zimmerman have been focused on these very issues that PID is highlighting today as the Task Force works towards a set of recommendations that will be made to the Governor and the General Assembly this summer.”

PID reminds consumers that just one inch of rain can cause $25,000 of damage to a home, and even Pennsylvanians who do not live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (an area with a higher chance of experiencing a flood), or areas where flood insurance is required, should consider purchasing flood insurance.

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“You’re more likely to experience a flood in your home than you are a house fire,” said PEMA Director Randy Padfield. “Flood insurance can give you the peace of mind that your losses could be covered in the event that you experience a flood.”

Flood insurance, available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and private insurers, can be purchased to cover almost any building and its contents, including rental property and condominiums. Renters also can buy flood insurance protection for their possessions.

Flood insurance policies may not be active immediately. To combat the purchase of flood insurance as a storm is headed in the direction of a property, Congress implemented a 30-day waiting period before a policy goes into effect. There are some exceptions, such as making, increasing, extending or renewing a mortgage.

Information on both the NFIP and private flood insurance is available on the Insurance Department’s one-stop flood insurance webpage.

The Flood Insurance Premium Assistance Task Force has been holding public meetings since February, with the next meeting set for April 3. More information on the Task Force’s meetings can be found on PID’s website.

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