Pennsylvania Measure Will Speed Mine Subsidence Insurance Payments

"Mine subsidence insurance is vital for people to protect their homes against damage from ground movement due to an underground mine collapse or water release, and homeowners' insurance typically does not cover this," Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller said. "It is vital we get these families the money they need quickly."

Pennsylvanians with property damage covered by mine subsidence insurance will have their claims paid without delay thanks to a directive signed recently by the heads of the state's departments of Environmental Protection and Insurance and the Pennsylvania State Treasury. While mine subsidence insurance claims are paid through a state fund that must undergo a review process, up to now payment of claims, once approved, was sometimes delayed for up to 30 days. The action taken recently by the DEP Secretary, Insurance commissioner, and state treasurer means the claims will now be paid immediately upon approval.

"Some 58,000 Pennsylvania property owners have mine subsidence insurance. When subsidence occurs, the damage can at times be so severe, people cannot live in their homes until repairs are made," DEP Acting Secretary Patrick McDonnell said.

According to the governor's office, more than 1 million Pennsylvania homes sit above abandoned underground coal or clay mines in 43 of Pennsylvania's 67 counties, and those structures or nearby properties can be damaged by ground movement from the collapse of an underground mine or a sudden breakout of water from an abandoned mine. To protect property owners, the state created the Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund in 1961 to provide low-cost coverage.

"Mine subsidence insurance is vital for people to protect their homes against damage from ground movement due to an underground mine collapse or water release, and homeowners' insurance typically does not cover this," Insurance Commissioner Teresa Miller said. "It is vital we get these families the money they need quickly."

"PA Treasury is pleased we were able to work with the administration to improve the process so that once these funds are approved we can promptly get the money to the claimants when they need it most," State Treasurer Timothy A. Reese added.

The average cost for mine subsidence insurance is $85 per year, and the average claim paid in 2015 was for approximately $20,000, but coverage up to $500,000 is available. For more information on the mine subsidence insurance program, visit www.paMSI.org.

Download Center

  • Your Guide to Environmental Metrics that Drive Performance

    Translating sustainability into action starts with implementing the right metrics to assess your environmental risk and performance. Learn how to design metrics that improve your decision-making process and drive enterprise performance.

  • Unpacking ESG: 6 Questions You Were Too Afraid to Ask

    Environmental and Sustainability experts from Arcadis and Cority answer 6 of the most pressing questions EHS professionals have about getting started with Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) reporting.

  • 5 Keys to Best-in-Class Chemical Management

    Running a safe chemical program is challenging and complex: from knowing what's on-site to proper handling and disposal - all while navigating regulatory changes. Learn the best ways to mitigate chemical risk, get the most value out of your data, and gain buy-in for a chemical management solution.

  • Streamline Your Air Emissions Management

    See how consolidating all your emissions management functions into one centralized system can help you streamline your operations, more easily maintain compliance, and achieve greater time and cost savings.

  • A Crash Course in Creating the Right Environmental Scoring System

    Learn how to develop the right environmental scoring system so you can easily benchmark performance across all your facilities and gain a holistic view of your environmental programs.

  • Industry Safe