Are Landslides and Mudslides Covered by Home Insurance?
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Homeowners insurance generally does not cover earth movements like landslides, mudslides and mudflows. However, you may be able to insure your property against these perils by purchasing extra coverage types like difference in conditions (DIC) insurance.
Read below for more information about landslide insurance and what you need to know in order to decide whether you need additional coverage for your home.
Why Aren’t Landslides and Mudslides Covered by Home Insurance?
A standard homeowners insurance policy will not cover landslides or mudslides because they are considered earth movements. Homeowners insurance policies often explicitly list earth movement as an exclusion, which means your insurance company will not reimburse you for losses caused by landslides, mudslides, mudflows, earthquakes or sinkholes.
However, your homeowners insurance provider could pay for property repairs or replacements after one of these perils if it was directly caused by another peril that your policy covers. For example, insurance carriers in California are required to cover damage from a debris flow if it was caused by a wildfire that loosened the soil.
What Type of Coverage Do I Need for Mudflows and Mudslides?
While there is not a specific coverage type known as mudslide insurance, there are various coverage types you could purchase to account for damage caused by mudslides and similar debris flows. Liquefied mudflows are generally covered by flood insurance, an extra coverage type you may need to buy since flooding is commonly excluded from standard homeowners policies as well.
You may also be able to cover various types of earth movement with an earthquake insurance policy. However, this will only cover landslides and mudslides if they were caused by seismic activity rather than a more gradual cause like erosion or water accumulation.
Alternatively, you could cover a wide range of different perils including floods, earthquakes, landslides and mudflows under a single policy by purchasing difference in conditions (DIC) insurance.
Where Can I Buy a DIC Policy?
You will most likely have to obtain DIC insurance from a surplus lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers function outside of the admitted insurance market, meaning they don’t adhere to the regulations set by state Departments of Insurance, and they sell specialized property and casualty insurance products that may not be available through the admitted market, often at a high price.
How Do I Prepare My Home for Landslides and Mudslides?
The first step in protecting yourself from landslides and mudslides comes before you even own your home as you should try to avoid buying or building a home near a mountain ridge, a mountain base or a similar location that is susceptible to landslide damage. If you already live in a high-risk area, you could protect your home by building channels or deflection walls that can divert water and other debris away from your home.
If a landslide advisory has been issued for your area, you should keep abreast of any weather updates and make sure someone in your household is awake as long as the advisory is in effect. In addition, you should be willing to follow evacuation recommendations if necessary.
How To Get Mudslide and Landslide Insurance
To find the best mudslide insurance for your home, you should reach out to at least three to five insurance companies for quotes. You will need to share information like your home’s age, the condition of your roof, your address and the number of people living in your home, which can be burdensome if you contact each insurance carrier individually.
As a result, you should consider using an insurance marketplace like SmartFinancial to make the process easier. If you provide information about your coverage needs and budget through our online questionnaire, we can match you up with an insurance agent near you who can offer you the policy you’re looking for. To start the process of obtaining a free home insurance quote, input your zip code below.