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Consumer Alert: National Preparedness Month

As National Preparedness Month comes to a close, Commissioner Miller is reminding consumers to review homeowners and renters insurance policies to be aware of any limitations in their coverage.

With a few weeks remaining in the Atlantic hurricane season, areas throughout Pennsylvania could experience periods of heavy rainfall, resulting in flooding. It is important to remember that damage from flooding is not covered by a homeowners or renters insurance policy.

Flood insurance can be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), private insurers licensed in Pennsylvania, and licensed agents who can discuss surplus lines. When purchasing flood insurance, make sure that you are aware of the type of coverage you need, as some policies cover your dwelling (the physical structure of your home), and some cover the contents (your personal belongings).

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recommends that homeowners insure their property at replacement value rather than actual cash value, as the replacement value will not be affected by depreciation. It is a good idea to keep a home inventory, which can make filing an insurance claim for storm damage easier. Taking photos and keeping receipts of expensive items is also helpful.

Renters should be aware that as tenants, their personal property is most likely not covered by a landlord’s insurance policy. Talk to your landlord about the type(s) of coverage they have. If you live in an area of high risk for flooding (whether or not your landlord has flood insurance), you may want to consider purchasing additional flood coverage, as your landlord’s flood insurance policy would not likely cover the contents (i.e. your belongings) if they have one.

More information is available on our homeowners, renters and flood insurance pages. If you have any questions, you can contact the department at 1-877-881-6388.

For free preparedness resources such as a checklist, personal preparedness plans, and instructional videos, visit www.ReadyPA.org. Follow @ReadyPA on Twitter and like the ReadyPA Facebook Page for additional helpful tips and information.