The weather can be quite an unpredictable affair – especially with climate change becoming an imminent threat. Anyone can be at risk of natural disasters like flooding, and many insurance owners aren’t covered for any damages incurred because of them. The Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, Jessica Altman, recently called upon residents of the state to purchase flood insurance. This will ensure that their homes, businesses, and possessions are protected when faced with extreme weather.

As Pennsylvanians know, extreme weather is not an unfamiliar ordeal, especially during the warmer season. According to data gathered by Pew Trusts, more than 350,000 Pennsylvanians live in areas where there is a significant risk of flooding. Between 2004-2018 there have been consistent occurrences of floods, hurricanes, and severe storms that have cost residents more than $1.2 billion in federal assistance.

A homeowners policy does not cover everything and the potential damage of flooding can wreak havoc on your bank account. So we strongly advise you to add Optional Coverages, including those for floods, before any disasters occur. It can take up to 30 days for your application to process and have the policy activated. That is why the sooner you can get around it, the fewer risks you incur.

If you live in a county that is less susceptible to extreme weather conditions, you may think this additional coverage is not applicable to you. However, don’t be deceived by the apparent logic of that, as the numbers paint a different picture. Flood risk is real even if you live in an area that is far from any body of water. The Pennsylvania Insurance Department states that “1 in 4 flood insurance claims are paid on policies in low-to-moderate risk areas.”

We may not understand the severity of something until we experience it – don’t wait until that moment occurs to protect yourself. At a minimum, obtaining this coverage means gaining peace of mind, whether or not you end up needing it.

Is cost your concern? If so, we have good news. Many property owners may not know how affordable flood insurance can be. Through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the federal government has made this type of insurance more accessible to communities, especially near floodplains. In fact, 23 localities in Pennsylvania are active participants of this program. It offers insurance premiums that are affordable to the average household or business.

If you are still contemplating whether you should add Flood Insurance to your existing policy here are some things to consider:

  • According to the Insurance Journal, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has been seeing a rise in privately-owned properties getting flood coverage – from 1,500 to 12,800 in a span of just 5 years
  • A lender may require a lower deposit from you on a mortgage if you have flood insurance coverage. For high-risk areas, this coverage is likely mandatory when looking at getting such a loan, since the chances of flooding are 1 in 4 or higher during a 30 years mortgage.
  • Only 1 inch of water on your floor can lead to $20,000+ in damages while paying for flood coverage would only cost you around $700 per year. Think about that.
  • In the event that you find yourself in a major flood situation, you may not have access to disaster aid and oftentimes those come in the form of a loan that needs to be paid back with added interest!

All things considered, now is the time to invest in Flood Insurance. At Gilmartin Insurance Agency, we are ready to address your needs and concerns to protect what you value most. Don’t delay and keep yourself protected against all odds. We welcome you to visit any one of our three locations – Scranton, Pittston, and Lehighton – and let us help you take steps toward further protection.