Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania homeowners have new tools at their disposal to identify risks and insure their property from underground mine subsidence, thanks to a newly revamped website from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
The new website – www.pamsi.org – contains information for residents about known underground mine locations and possible risks for subsidence. Recently updated maps show historic mining and known coal-bearing areas that could be affected by mine subsidence from old and abandoned mines.
“Underground mining has a long history in Pennsylvania, and historic mines can still cause subsidence today,” said DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “I encourage all Pennsylvanians to log on and see what their risk is, and to sign up for mine subsidence insurance if needed.”
Cracked foundations, collapsed walls, and even homes sinking into the ground are all possible impacts of underground mine subsidence, which is not typically covered by homeowner’s insurance policies. A subsidence event can occur at any time and cause sudden, significant damage, often exceeding $100,000 or total loss of the structure. Mine subsidence occurs when the ground above an old or abandoned mine cavity collapses.
“DEP is continuously improving our maps and data for underground mining,” said McDonnell. “Our goal is to have the best underground mine mapping easily accessible to anyone who wants to view it, so that residents can know if they could be affected and can easily sign up for mine subsidence insurance if they need it.”
DEP administers low-cost mine subsidence insurance (MSI) coverage through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The average policy of $160,000 costs about $7 a month, and senior citizens are eligible for discounted rates.
Homeowners should visit www.pamsi.org or call 1-800-922-1678 to check if their home is over an abandoned mine and for more information on the Mine Subsidence Insurance Program.