Owning a home in California can raise a lot of insurance concerns: earthquake, fire, and now mudslides. Are mudslides covered on your home insurance policy?
In short, no.
In our last blog, we covered the topic of flood insurance. At the time, rain forecasts were inconclusive, but by now, it is clear that California is having a wet year.
Many areas hit by fires are at risk for mudslides. The number of Montecito homes destroyed by the mudslides were most recently tallied at 115. At the beginning of December residents among the foothills braced for possible mudslides, as well.
It’s not just that these barren areas lack foliage, but during a fire a chemical process occurs which hardens soil, resulting in a loss of topsoil during rains. How much rain does it take to cause a mudslide? According to a recent LA Times article, “In Southern California’s unburned areas, 10 inches of rainfall during the winter is needed to nearly saturate the ground. After that point, a burst of rain of just one-quarter of an inch an hour can trigger widespread shallow landslides. But in areas that experienced a burn, it only takes an intense rainfall.”
Mudslides are NOT covered by home insurance. Yet you can purchase additional flood insurance.
Those in “high risk areas” or Special Hazard Flood Areas will likely already have flood insurance. But you don’t have to live in a traditional high-risk area to be hit by a flood. According to FEMA, “More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside the high risk flood zone.” This is important to note as “floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster and cause millions of dollars in damage every year.”
Contact Cappuccino Insurance to go over your existing coverage and to learn more about flood insurance.