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Flood Insurance Outside a Flood Zone

People do not have to have to reside in a flood zone to be at-risk of flooding.
August 8, 2017

The July 23 flooding in Middletown, Pa., proves that people do not have to have to reside in a flood zone to be at-risk, as a total of 4.7 inches of rain overwhelmed the city's stormwater drainage system. Up until 2014, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was the only option for people to obtain flood insurance, says Ron Ruman, spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, but today, Pennsylvanians can purchase flood insurance through “surplus lines” available via agents and agencies licensed by the state.

Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Teresa D. Miller is trying to get Congress to amend the law so that banks and mortgage companies that require flood insurance would accept a policy that a homeowner purchases through a surplus lines carrier, adds Ruman. “We are seeing banks being more accepting" of surplus lines coverage, “but we would like to put it into federal law.” Ruman also notes that special “flood mitigation” funding, such as money to elevate utilities or an entire house, can only be obtained via insurance provided by the NFIP.

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