State officials encourage homeowners, renters to consider flood insurance as hurricane season is underway

Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Hurricane season started in June, and its expected to be an above average year. That’s one of many reasons Pennsylvania’s insurance commissioner is urging people to get flood insurance.

State officials are stressing if it can rain, it can flood. Pennsylvania is known for flooding in unexpected, low risk areas.

Over the years, abc27 News has brought you to the scenes of homes, businesses, bridges and roads damaged from high winds and heavy rains.

Insurance Commissioner for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Jessica Altman says you can’t just rely on flood maps.

You need to talk to experts in your area about your home or rental property’s risk.

Standard homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, and typically, neither do renters insurance or landlord policies.

You can buy this insurance regardless of whether you rent, own or live in a designated flood zone.

How much you pay ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on your property’s value and risk.

Altman says it’s worth it.

“When you don’t have flood insurance coverage speaking, generally speaking, if you’re eligible for federal assistance, emergency assistance at all, it’s only about depending your income at most $20,000 or $30,000,” Altman said. “One inch of rain from flooding can cause $25,000 in damage, so that doesn’t go very far.”

Usually, these policies take about a month before becoming active, which is another reason the state is getting the word out about this now.

The housing market is currently booming, which makes this reminder even more important for those who are moving.

As the federal government is working to improve the National Flood Insurance Program, the Keystone State’s private flood insurance market is flourishing.

In the last five years, the number of Pennsylvanians with private flood insurance policies has increased from 1,500 to nearly 12,800.

The total number of PA properties with flood insurance properties is about 60,000.

The commissioner says it’s vital to do research to find the most affordable option.

The state has a flood insurance webpage plus an emergency preparedness guide to help you through this process.

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