Insurance Coverage for Weather Related Damage

As I have been posting helpful tips for some time now, I often get asked about insurance coverage relating to weather related catastrophes. It is important to understand your individual policy limitations with respect to damage caused by natural events. While many Encinitas homeowners are well acquainted with earthquake insurance, most providers have limitations or exclusions for damage caused by mudslides.

Typical homeowner policies do not cover such events as floods, earthquakes, mudslides, sinkholes, war or nuclear accidents. In the case of mudslides, you might be covered under a flood insurance policy. Certain policies may cover damages resulting from a mudslide provided the mud is carried by a river or stream of water. In situations where a dam breaks and carries the resulting mud into your home, you may be covered. Frequently flood insurance policies will deny coverage for any damage if a hillside becomes saturated after a heavy rainfall and gradually begins to move. Many policies will consider this type of damage natural earth movement. There are some insurance products that cover landslides, but these are generally much more expensive and may not be worth the cost. If your home is proximate to a steep grade, or if you reside in a hilly area that experiences heavy rainfall or one that has a history of mudslides in the past, you may want to consider these higher priced options.

A good way to determine if you are at risk is to contact a soil engineer who can test the ground and assess how stable it is based on subsurface soil composition. As we move into the seasonal trend of higher rainfall and stormy weather now is the best time to review your policy for coverage and make any changes!

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