2023 Flood Insurance In PA: A Simple (But Complete) Guide
Flood insurance in PA
Does my Pennsylvania homeowner insurance cover flooding?
A typical Pennsylvania homeowners’ policy is written through Farmers, State Farm, Allstate, and Progressive, for instance, excludes flooding as something that will be covered under their homeowner’s policy.
In most cases, the only way to get flood coverage is by purchasing a stand-alone flood insurance policy. However, you should ask your homeowners agent if you can add an endorsement to your homeowner’s policy to cover flooding. Yet, don’t be too surprised if the answer is NO.
How much is flood insurance in PA?
It is important to have flood insurance coverage in Pennsylvania because our beloved State has seen a fair share of flooding, and more is likely coming.
We believe that most homeowners think about Flood insurance in Pennsylvania at some point, maybe before buying a home or during the closing process. However, many of us only think about it when a big storm is looming, or we have heard on the news that there is flooding forecasted or happening too close to our home.
How much is flood insurance in Pa?
If your home or business is in a flood zone, that is considered a low flood-risk area. Sadly, many homeowners decide to forgo purchasing coverage because they believe they are safe from flooding. Some real estate and insurance agents may even say you don’t need it.
I ask you to consider the facts: 20 percent of all flooding events across our nation come in areas that are considered low risk. After our last few major storms (Hurricane Harvey), we saw flooding in these low-risk areas. 80 percent of these individuals had water in their homes or building and didn’t have flood insurance coverage.
In Harris county, nearly 135,000 homes were damaged. Three-fourths of these properties were considered low to moderate risk.
We often hear that people believe the government will help, which is true. However, a few things must align for you to get government assistance.
The president of the United States must declare the flooding event a state of emergency. If this doesn’t happen, then there won’t be assistance.
The average amount of assistance homeowners get after a flood when they do not have flood coverage is $5,000. The average cost of damage to one’s property after a flood is $38,000+. That $5K you get from the government? It comes as a loan, and you will need to pay it back. Are you willing to gamble your financial future by forgoing flood insurance coverage?
One more note on these low-risk flood zone maps. Many of these maps are over 40 years old. If the area has been developed, there is likely more concrete, creating a barrier for land that previously might have absorbed the massive downpour.
Because of all these factors, it is difficult for property owners to know their true risk of flooding. FEMA admits that their flood maps only give an idea of part of the risk. Our recent storms are facts that it can rain anywhere within Pennsylvania, and you should consider getting flood coverage so you are not uninsured when you need it most.
FEMA flood zone maps often take years to go into effect after the terrain was studied; this gives the impression that the area is “more up to date” than it is.
How much does flood insurance cost in PA?
The average cost for Pennsylvania flood insurance in these Low-risk areas is $595 per year.
FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and all federally backed lenders rely on these Pennsylvania flood insurance maps to assess risk, set premiums, and determine who is required to purchase flood insurance. Bad information about an area’s flood risk can leave property owners under or uninsured.
PA NFIP flood insurance.
There are many options available in Pennsylvania regarding flood insurance, but they fall into two main categories.
The government flood insurance options, also called NFIP or FEMA
The private flood insurance market
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), also known as FEMA, is the government option for flood insurance. The NFIP has enjoyed a 50-state monopoly on the flood insurance market.
Not “private flood insurance” but NFIP Resellers
Suppose you have Nationwide Flood Insurance, State Farm Flood Insurance, Progressive Flood Insurance, or any of the logos below. In that case, you are buying the NFIP flood policy that is just being resold through a government program. These companies are private companies, but their flood insurance is not. Here is a list of the 70 companies that resell the NFIP policy.
PA private flood insurance market
There are alternatives to the NFIP or government insurance. It is called Private flood insurance, most notably Lloyd’s of London Flood insurance. However, there are other options available in Pennsylvania. We shop all the options for your property in your region to ensure you are getting the best premium. Please click here if you are ready to have us do the work for you.
Our shopping includes the NFIP because sometimes we find that you can get a much better premium with government subsidies.
Lloyd’s of London Flood Insurance PA
Pennsylvania is fortunate to have many Lloyd’s of London flood insurance options. Although many Lloyd’s flood insurance companies will have you assume that there is only one option, nothing could be further from the truth.
Lloyd’s of London has a rich history attributed to having invented the first modern insurance model. Unlike most of its competition, Lloyd’s of London is not a company but a corporate body. This structure works well since it has been around for over 330 years. Lloyd’s operates under multiple financial backers pooling their capital to spread the risk.
I have two blog posts that deeply dive into Lloyds of London and what they mean to Pennsylvania’s flood insurance market. If you are interested, the links are below.
Lloyd’s also insures the world with flood insurance, meaning they cover flooding events in India, Australia, and much of Europe. The “game” of insurance is to spread your risk since Lloyds is worldwide.
My joke here is that Lloyds is banking on God’s promise that he won’t flood the entire world again, …..so they won’t have to pay out the whole world’s flood claim.
How much does flood insurance cost in Pennsylvania?
Many factors go into getting the cost of flood insurance for Pennsylvania. If your home is in what is considered a low-to-moderate risk, you can get a heavily subsidized policy through the government.
PA flood insurance low-to Moderate Risk rate and cost.
This is Flood Zone X, which is not lender required flood zone.
This is usually identified as an X-flood zone. Then we would suggest the government Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) which is a subsidized policy and has set flood insurance coverage limits (see the grid below):
Cost of flood insurance in PA
The average cost for flood insurance in Pennsylvania with the maximum set limits in these Low-risk flood zone areas is $405 – $700 per year.
Your property is in a higher-risk flood zone, usually identified with a Flood Zone AE. Your lender will require you to have flood insurance. The cost of flood insurance in Pennsylvania depends on many factors unique to the structure. We will try to give you an idea of the most common homes we see in Pennsylvania with a slab-on-grade foundation.
We will look at the Pennsylvania cost of flood insurance for the NFIP maximum of $250,000 for the (building only) with NO CONTENTS and our recommended deductible of $5,000.
We will be rating this example on the NFIP and on a few of our private flood insurance policies, specifically Lloyd’s flood insurance options in Pennsylvania.
Cost of Flood Insurance in PA in high-risk flood zone AE
Our example is Philadelphia, but the premiums will be the same if in Kingston, Wilkes Barre, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and many other Pennsylvania flood ones.
In our example, the Base Flood Elevation (BFE is 634) and is a home that is built before 1973
Cheap flood insurance PA