Seeks Public Input on Flood Insurance Access and Affordability in Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG – Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20) has been appointed to serve as a member of the Flood Insurance Premium Assistance Task Force (the Task Force) established by Act 22 of 2023 to study flood insurance issues and make recommendations to help improve affordability and expand access to coverage.
Pennsylvania is one of the most flood-prone states in the country. This damages structures and facilities and requires time and resources to repair. In recent years, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) updated its flood mapping to include many properties that previously did not require flood insurance. Meant to mitigate the financial harm and help lessen the emotional devastation caused by floods, more and more Pennsylvanians require assistance with their flood insurance coverage due to rising premiums. As a result, many communities are at risk of reduced property sales and values.
“For more than a decade, an increasing number of severe weather events have done serious damage in communities across the commonwealth. Insurance coverage and costs developed in different times are no longer providing the levels of protection people need,” Baker said. “At the same time, rising premiums make coverage less affordable for too many families. Because states like California and Florida are in much worse situations due to devastating wildfires and hurricanes, we can draw on their experience as well as our own to design remedies that will repair the system today and prepare for the challenges of tomorrow.”
The Task Force is currently seeking public input on the accessibility and affordability of flood insurance. Comments may be sent to email@example.com or to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s Director of Policy Planning at: Office of the Insurance Commissioner, 1326 Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, PA 17120, and must be received by February 5.
Within the next six months, the Task Force must prepare a report to include recommendations:
- Identifying programs to provide flood insurance premium discounts and incentives for local governments to undertake or continue flood mitigation efforts.
- Implementing changes in state law and relating to the administration of flood insurance.
- Educating the public about flooding risks and mitigation techniques.
- Informing Pennsylvanians about flood insurance options.
- Increasing the number of flood insurance policies purchased by Pennsylvanians.
The task force will expire 30 days after creating the report.