Last week, we told you the Department of Environmental Protection has lowered premiums for the insurance it offers against surface-level damage caused by mining-related sinkholes.
A Times-Leader article points out not too many people carry the policy, called mine subsidence insurance, but highlights its benefits:
The nonprofit and self-sustaining insurance program covers losses from damage caused by abandoned coal or clay mines and by sudden discharge of water that may be contained in a mine void.
Such damage is usually not covered by homeowner policies, according to the DEP, which is why the MSI program was started in 1961. There are currently about 57,000 policyholders statewide, DEP spokeswoman Amanda Witman said, while there are about 1 million people living in areas with potential for mine subsidence.
…Insurance costs about 55 cents for every $1,000 of coverage; an average policy of $160,000 would cost $87.50 a year, or about $7 a month, according to the MIS website.
The cost of not having insurance can be steep. The average damage is about $50,000, but claims have been paid in excess of $200,000. From July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011, MSI paid out $400,000 on 14 claims in Luzerne County.
The insurance program’s website lets you check how much mining activity has taken place near your home.