Best Flood Insurance in Pennsylvania

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Contributor, Benzinga
October 23, 2020

Flood insurance may not be on your mind as a resident of Pennsylvania. But even though you live in a landlocked state, your home and belongings are still at risk. 

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reports that just an inch of floodwater can cause more than $25,000 in damage to your home. Most homeowners or renters insurance policies do not cover flooding, so flood insurance is recommended to protect your home and belongings. 

Need to add flood coverage for your home? Start with our guide to learn more and find the best flood insurance in Pennsylvania.

Best Cheap Flood Insurance Providers in Pennsylvania

You can add flood insurance without taking on a big expense. Here are some of the best providers for cheap flood insurance in Pennsylvania.

Best For
  • No Recent Claims

1. Best for Coverage Options: Allstate

Allstate can walk you through its different flood insurance options. 

You can purchase a flood insurance policy to cover your building property like your home’s electrical and plumbing systems. You can also purchase a flood insurance policy to cover personal items such as your furniture, electronics and clothing. 

An Allstate agent is available to talk about your options if you’re not sure what type of damage your home is at risk for. 

Liberty Mutual
Best For
  • Tailored coverage

2. Best for Resources: Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual offers resources on its website to clear up common misconceptions about flood insurance. It also offers advice on how to prevent flood damage from occurring. 

Liberty Mutual is part of the WYO (Write Your Own) Program under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in all 50 states, in over 21,000 communities. Its participation in this program allows Liberty Mutual to provide and serve NFIP policies that can keep you protected from costly damage.

Request a no-obligation quote or work with your local agent to determine coverage for flood risks in your community.

Best For
  • Those who own investment properties

3. Best for Risk Assessment: Farmers

Talk to a Farmers agent to assess whether your home is at risk of flooding. Your local agent can run a flood zone determination to determine whether your home falls in the high or low-to-moderate risk zone. 

High-risk homes are more likely to be damaged by floods. The government requires high-risk homeowners to have flood coverage when they have loans from federally regulated or insured lenders.

Flood insurance coverage isn’t required in low-to-moderate risk areas. But Farmers shares that low-to-moderate risk zones account for 25% of all flood insurance claims. These homes also receive 1/3 of federal disaster assistance for flooding.

A Farmers agent can help you weigh the risks to decide if flood insurance is a good move for you.

USAA Home Insurance
Best For
  • Members of the armed forces and their families

4. Best for Military Families: USAA

USAA reminds customers that floods can happen anywhere:

  • Ice and snowmelt can turn into standing water in your basement. 
  • Dry land due to drought can’t absorb rainwater, and flash floods can result. 
  • Property development can alter natural drainage and limit the amount of land to soak up normal rainfall.
  • Flooding can also be associated with tropical storms and hurricanes. 

USAA insurance policies serve military families. You must be a USAA member to access policies. Contact USAA to qualify or start with a free quote online.

Cost of Flood Insurance in Pennsylvania

The cost of yet another type of insurance is something to consider. 

It may be possible to escrow the cost of your flood insurance. Your mortgage lender may even be required to escrow the cost of flood insurance. This means that instead of paying the upfront full cost of an annual policy, you may be able to spread the payments out over 12 months as part of your mortgage payment.

There are a number of factors that will determine your annual flood insurance premium, including:

  • The flood risk of the area you live in, also known as your flood zone.
  • Your home itself, including its location, design and age.
  • The type of coverage you purchase.
  • The amount of coverage and the deductible you choose. Your deductible is the amount of money you must pay out of pocket for a covered claim before your insurance policy will pay out for your damages.

Your specific annual premium will depend on many factors. Take a look at a few examples of annual premium costs from GEICO:

  • Your premium could be $229 for $20,000 in building coverage and $8,000 in contents coverage.
  • For $8,000 of contents coverage only, your annual premium could be $103.
  • An annual premium of $439 can provide $100,000 in building coverage and $40,000 in contents coverage. 
  • For $40,000 of contents coverage only, your annual premium could be $241.

What Does Flood Insurance Typically Cover?

Every flood insurance policy is part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Your policy will cover any direct physical losses that occur in the event of a flood.

The NFIP offers 2 types of coverage — building coverage and contents coverage.

Building coverage covers the physical structure of your home, as well as its foundation. It also covers essential systems including electrical, plumbing, cooling and heating. If you have built-in bookcases and cabinets in your home, coverage will extend to those. It can also cover your detached garage. Any other detached structures may not be covered by your building coverage and may need their own policy.

Contents coverage is solely designed to protect your belongings. This includes some of your appliances, such as your microwave, portable or window air conditioners and your washer and dryer. You’ll also receive coverage for your personal belongings like electronics, furniture and clothing. Valuable items such as original artwork receive coverage of up to $2,500.

Flood insurance only covers damage directly caused by flooding. A flood is defined as an excess of water on land that is normally dry. Excess of water must affect 2 or more acres of land or 2 or more properties to be considered a flood. 

Other water damage (such as a sewer backup) not caused directly by flooding will not be covered by your flood insurance policy.

Do You Need Flood Insurance?

Every property is vulnerable to flooding. Flood damage can be caused by a lake or river overflowing. Hurricanes and tropical storms can cause flood damage. Flooding can also occur due to heavy rainfall or melting snow and ice. 

Your homeowners insurance policy does not cover flood damage. You need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy to ensure coverage. 

Your need for flood insurance depends on requirements and risk. A mortgage through a federally-regulated lender may require a flood insurance policy. This is required by the government for homes that are in high-risk flood areas. Your lender is required to notify you of the flooding risk prior to closing if your property is in a high-risk area.

But it may be a good idea to look into flood insurance coverage even if you're not in a high-risk area. Ask an insurance agent if you’re eligible for the Preferred Risk Policy. The Preferred Risk Policy is a low-cost policy available to property owners in a low-to-moderate risk area. 

Most flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period before the policy goes into effect. Your policy will not cover any losses or damage caused by a flood prior to your policy becoming effective. 

Find Flood Insurance Now

Finding flood insurance is simple. 

Start with your homeowners or renters insurance agent to see if their agency offers flood insurance. You can also request a few free quotes from our recommended providers to compare policy options and research your area to understand flood risks. 

You and a trusted insurance agent can find the right flood insurance policy for your home.