January 12, 2018

Mudslides. Think your homeowners insurance policy covers the damage? Think again.

The devastating mudslides near Montecito in Santa Barbara County, California have killed at least 17 people (a number which is regretfully expected to rise as search efforts continue) and  injured scores more.  An unknown number of homes have been damaged or completely destroyed.  Highway 101 remains closed in the slide area, inundated with tons of mud and boulders.  The mudslide is so deep that some single story homes are buried in mud up to their gutters.  Homes were completely knocked off their foundations from the power of the mudslide.  Others had giant holes through them cause by the boulders rushing down hill.

The loss of life and injuries is horrid.  But regarding damage and destruction to homes, I can only hope the homeowners had proper insurance coverage.  Mudslides and similar earth movement events are not ... I repeat not ... covered by traditional homeowners insurance policies.  The homeowner must purchase a homeowner insurance policy rider to provide the needed earth movement coverage, or purchase a separate insurance policy that provides such coverage.

Hwy 101 near Montecito, California, covered in tons of mud and other debris.
Photo Credit:  latimes.com

If you live in an area subject to mudslides or other earth movement damage, don't delay reviewing your insurance coverage to ascertain you have adequate coverage for damaging perils.  Whether or not you should obtain such insurance coverage is based on your risk exposure, insurance availability and benefits, and cost.

About Mary Rae Fouts, EA

Mary Rae Fouts, EA provides tax, insurance consulting, and expert witness services to clients who have technical or complex concerns.  For more information visit FoutsFinancialGroup.com.

Mary Rae Fouts

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