Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Mudslides?
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Mudslides can have catastrophic consequences that leave your home in need of repair and, in some cases, even fully destroyed. Taking out a homeowners insurance policy is the first step toward protecting your home and preserving your financial situation in the event of an emergency, but obtaining comprehensive coverage for mudslides is slightly more complicated than simply purchasing a standard insurance policy.
Read on to learn whether your homeowners insurance covers mudslides and how to purchase the protection you need to keep your home safe.
What is the difference between a mudslide and a mudflow?
Despite being very similar terms, mudslides and mudflows are in fact quite different and are handled distinctly by insurance providers due to the characteristics that set them apart. In order to understand how your insurance utilizes these terms, you must first understand what they mean.
Mudslides occur when water erodes the ground at the top of a slope, resulting in large masses of mud and other sediment that can be pushed down by gravity and wreak havoc. Most insurance companies classify mudslides as an earth or ground movement.
Mudflows are channels of mud created by heavy rainfalls. As land erosion combines with large amounts of water, it becomes able to gather, move, and cause damage to roads and homes. Because it is caused by flooding, mudflows are classified under flood insurance.
Insurance contracts can be very tricky to read, and nuances can have very impactful consequences. Because of this, it is absolutely necessary that you understand each policy point listed within your agreement. If you are unsure about any of the terms in your insurance policy, you should reach out to your insurance provider with any questions or concerns.
Will your insurance cover damages made by mudslides or mudflows?
Though they are classified and handled differently, neither mudslides nor mudflows are covered by standard homeowners insurance policies, as they are extreme natural occurrences that tend to cause expensive damage. Despite this, there are other coverage options to ensure you stay fully protected should they ever cause damage to your home.
Because mudslides and landslides result from spontaneous movement within the earth, most standard insurance companies do not provide coverage for damage caused by these events, even through earthquake or flood insurance add-ons.
In order to stay protected in the event of a mudslide, you should consider taking out a Difference in Conditions (DIC) policy, or “gap coverage,” which allows you to obtain coverage for any natural disasters that standard policies do not cover, essentially filling in the gaps that you would like reinforced within your insurance agreement. Some insurance companies offer this policy as an endorsement, but if this is not the case, you will have to purchase a plan with a separate provider.
Mudflows are often caused by heavy rainfalls and as a result, they are covered by most flood insurance policies. Though this is an insurance add-on that will increase your monthly payment, if you live in an area that is at high risk for flooding, you should consider taking out a policy with FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program or another private insurance company to stay protected.