PONTIAC, Ill. (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — The risk of mine subsidence is present for many homeowners in Livingston County, and the Illinois Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund (IMSIF) has initiated a consumer education initiative to address the issue. Mine subsidence occurs in an abandoned mine when a mine roof or pillar collapses, causing the ground above to sink or subside. Homes built in close proximity to these mines are subject to foundation or structural damage, which may cost thousands of dollars to repair. IMSIF hopes to raise consumer awareness of both the risk of mine subsidence and the availability of insurance through primary carriers.
IMSIF is also encouraging the use of mine maps, compiled and digitally reproduced by the Illinois State Geological Survey (ISGS), to determine if a specific location is at risk for mine subsidence. A property need not be directly over a mine to be affected by mine subsidence. The maps can be accessed from a link on the IMSIF Web site at www.imsif.com .
According to ISGS estimates, 330,000 housing units in Illinois are in close proximity to mines and have possible exposure to mine subsidence. In Livingston County, an estimated 1,736 housing units have possible exposure to mine subsidence. Most of the exposure is in the Pontiac and Fairbury areas.
Mine subsidence insurance coverage is excluded from traditional homeowner policies, but Illinois consumers can have the coverage added to their existing property policy. There are 34 “Mandatory” counties in Illinois wherein coverage is automatically included in property policies, but Livingston County is not designated as Mandatory. Therefore, homeowners in Livingston County must request the additional coverage by contacting their insurance agent or company. The cost of mine subsidence coverage is the same in all counties, and is based on the amount of insurance purchased. For example, the annual premium for mine subsidence coverage on a home insured for $150,000 is $65. The annual premium on a home insured for $350,000 is $126.
Although IMSIF does not sell mine subsidence insurance, it was created in 1979 by Illinois legislators to provide reinsurance to companies affording this coverage. The Fund also conducts geotechnical investigations for mine subsidence claims, and supports mine subsidence research and education. Homeowners wishing to purchase mine subsidence insurance should contact their own insurance agent or company. For more information on mine subsidence or the Illinois Mine Subsidence Insurance Fund, contact Kathy Moran at 800-433-6743, ext. 261.