Do All Homeowners Need Flood Insurance in Lancaster PA?

Many homeowners assume that Flood Insurance in Lancaster PA is only necessary for those who live on the coastline, or near a river. Some assume that they are not eligible for coverage precisely because they live in these areas, but neither assumption is true.

The Definition of a Flood

Floods are the most costly and common natural disaster, and they aren’t restricted to large bodies of water and storm-prone areas. A flood is defined as a temporary, general condition where normally dry land is inundated with water. The flooding can come from:

• Overflowing tidal or inland waters

• Rapid, unusual runoff or accumulation of surface water

• Flooding-related mud flows

A flood can occur in the desert, during spring snowmelts, in a developed area or anywhere the ground fails to absorb extra water. Inadequate drainage or erosion can also cause mudslides and/or floods.

The Consequences of a Flood

Flooding can cause serious damage to a home’s structure, foundation, flooring, walls and furniture. However, flood-related damages aren’t covered by standard homeowner’s insurance policies. Federal assistance in the form of low-interest loans is available only if the affected lands are declared a federal disaster area. However, most floods don’t meet this criteria.

What Flood Insurance Covers

Flood insurance covers physical damage and losses to the structure of a home, and they also cover damage to personal property. This coverage helps families get back into their homes as quickly as possible, and it covers losses stemming from erosion, flooding, tidal surges, flash floods and mudslides. Flood coverage can be bought by renters and homeowners, as well as commercial building owners. There are a few stipulations to consider:

• The insured building must be in an NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) participating community. Most larger communities in the US participate in the program.

• There are limits to what is covered by flood insurance. The maximum amount of coverage available for a residence is $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for the home’s contents, and it can be bought starting at roughly $350 yearly.

Most people don’t think about Flood Insurance in Lancaster PA until they need it, but this coverage should be planned and budgeted for from the day the home is bought. There is a one-month (30 day) waiting period between the application date and the coverage effective date; therefore, homeowners should buy coverage from Susquehanna Insurance Management Ltd well before the rainy season.

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