For the uninformed, mudslides are mud piles that slide down a mountain or hillside or any vertical slope. Composed of mud, stones and rocks as well as general debris, it can cause much damage to homes and property. With the force garnered by gravity, a mudslide can rip out trees, power lines and anything in its path.

While most feel smug about mudslide safety, a mudslide can occur suddenly – particularly in localities where there is a great deal of rain, fast melting snow and resulting flash flooding. Areas where wildfire has eliminated trees, brush and vegetation are most prone to a mudslide disaster when excessive rain or snow melts occur.

Property and homes in the path of a mudslide can be devastating. Recent polls in fact indicate that there is anywhere between two to four million dollars of property damage per year in the United States as a result of mudslide occurrence.

It is important for the home, business or property owner to realize that standard homeowners, renters or commercial property insurance will not cover the damages related to a mudslide. The insurance industry views a mudslide as a repercussion of the earth’s movement, much like an earthquake that is also not covered by a standard plan. Incidentally, related disasters such as landslides and sinkholes are also not covered under standard insurance.

You may wonder, if a mudslide is the result of the earth’s movement, would an earthquake policy cover the damages? The answer is no – unless of course, the mudslide occurred because of the earthquake.

In addition, unlike a mudflow that is defined as a river of mud streaming down the incline and may be covered under your flood insurance policy, a mudslide is a thick substance and is not covered under a flood plan.

For those living in mudslide risk exposed sites there is indemnity in the form of a Difference in Conditions policy. This type of insurance is written as a rider to your existing homeowners or business policy and can also cover damage from landslides, earthquakes and flooding.

As for vehicle damage from a mudslide, the answer is simple – a comprehensive auto insurance policy should protect you from the four natural calamities: mudslides, landslides, earthquakes and floods.

For a deeper understanding of this and other forms of insurance as it pertains to your individual situation, speak to an experienced independent agent who views an educated consumer as an asset.

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