Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Landslides?
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Though many natural disasters are covered by standard homeowners insurance policies, if your home was damaged due to a landslide (or a powerful movement of the earth that can cause falling rocks, slope failure, and increased mudflow), it’s unlikely your insurance company will provide financial reimbursement unless you’ve taken out a separate policy that protects you from this specific condition.
Why? Landslides count as “earth or ground movements,” which are usually excluded from standard coverage. Read on to learn everything you need to know about purchasing an insurance policy that protects you from landslides and other related ground movements.
###Does your homeowners insurance cover landslides?
Homeowners insurance exists to provide you with financial support and peace of mind should you experience a loss in your home. Though most standard insurance plans provide coverage for common natural disasters through the named perils listed within your policy (including damage caused by rain/snow/ice, fire/lightning, and wind/hail), policyholders will have to consider other options when seeking coverage for landslides and other ground movements that are excluded from coverage, such as earthquakes, mudslides, and sinkholes.
Because landslides cannot be covered by earthquake or flood insurance add-ons, as they technically do not fit into either category, you will have to consider some alternative options. The most popular and effective way to receive insurance coverage for landslides is to take out a Difference in Conditions (DIC) policy, also referred to as a “gap filler” policy, which adds coverage to areas within your existing agreement that require more protection.
Though taking out this policy will be more expensive than simply keeping your standard homeowners insurance plan, it ensures that your home is protected in all circumstances that involve both weak and powerful ground movements, which often cause very expensive damage.
Should you purchase coverage for landslides and other ground movements?
According to the United States Geological Survey, landslides cause more than $1 billion in land and property damage each year in the U.S. alone. Because landslides can occur in all 50 states and territories and typically have very catastrophic (and costly) consequences, it may be in your best interest to take out a DIC or an additional insurance policy to keep your home and belongings protected in the event of an emergency.
Though landslides and other ground movements are not extremely common everywhere in the country, homeowners who live in areas that are considered high-risk for landslides (such as residents of California, Washington, Colorado, and Puerto Rico) should weigh out their options and see if this specialty coverage fits into their financial plan.