Morgantown State Farm agent Marc Bellettiere talked about insuring against hail storms and sink holes during a Morgantown Area Business Association monthly breakfast meeting June 17.
“The amount of claims from the May 22 hail storm has been astronomical,” said Bellettiere, a member of MABA. “We had drive-in individuals who were appraising the damage... It’s something I haven’t seen before.”
He said State Farm defined the hail storm as a catastrophic event.
Addressing the question, “What do we that’s proactive?” he explained that their list of choices for coverage options is about two sheets long, and insurance would be about $5,000 a year, “so we can’t protect against all of those things, however, in our area there are certain things we can and should protect from.”
One is hail and the other is sink holes, he said.
“You are 100 percent covered by hail if you have coverage for comprehensive on your vehicle.”
He talked about those who ask for the cheapest plan are often the ones scraping for pennies to pay the insurance and only have one vehicle. Without comprehensive coverage, a weather event such as hail causing damage, the client will not be covered.
“If it’s your only car, put comprehensive coverage on it. If something like this happens again, at least it’s fixed.”
An event like the May 22 hail storm may never happen again, he said, “but insure yourself against the possibility of it happening.”
For home insurance, he discussed sink holes.
“Pennsylvania is the number one state in the country right now for sink hole insurance,” said Bellettiere.
Sink holes are prevalent in Berks County and parts of Chester County, he said.
“If you have a sink hole on your property and your house collapses and you have not purchased the sink hole collapse endorsement you get nothing, that whole loss is now part of your expense 100 percent.”
The cost of the endorsement is about a 10 to 15 percent increase in the premium.
“There’s no way to predict a sink hole,” said Bellettiere.
Because of what recently happened with the hail storm and recent sink holes in the area, he said hail storms and sink holes are now part of the discussion with clients.
Other additional endorsements not part of the basic policy include flood, mud slide, earthquake, wild fires and collapse.
“At least ask your insurance agent, what am I not covered for that may be an issue in Pennsylvania?”