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Are Mudslides Covered by Flood Insurance?

At this point in the game, all of us know that there are certain areas that are prone to hurricane watches and warnings: The Caribbean, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, and the coastal states in the East Coast. And while they do have a lot of preemptive planning to do before a natural disaster, it doesn’t mean that the rest of the country gets to rest on their laurels.

This Thanksgiving weekend, the Skagit river overflowed in Washington, causing damage that hadn’t been seen in the area in over a decade. Now, the weather that caused the flood is moving towards California, where residents have been warned of potential mudslides. We know that a typical homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover floods; but does the typical flood insurance cover mudslides?

FEMA’s Definition of “Flood”

According to FEMA, a flood is a complete or partial inundation of two or more acres of land, from inland or tidal waters; or from a rapid accumulation of surface waters from any source; or mudflow. So technically, under a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy, you would likely be covered. That said, don’t get too comfortable with that knowledge. Considering that FEMA’s finances are worse than having to watch an episode of Teen Mom, it might be wise to look into purchasing a policy from the private sector.

What is Difference in Conditions (DIC) Insurance?

One of the benefits of choosing a private carrier is that you can purchase a policy in excess of FEMA’s $250,000.00 cap. Also, in certain instances, you only have to wait 15 days for your new policy to go into effect (it takes 30 days with FEMA).

Now, this doesn’t mean that private insurance is inherently perfect. Although the limits are higher, the scope of coverage is narrower, so you do have to pay close attention to the terms of your package. One of the ways to cover your bases is to obtain Difference in Conditions (DIC) insurance.

Depending on your geographical location, your property may be exposed to certain risks: earthquakes in California, hurricanes in Florida, tornadoes in the central states, blizzards in Buffalo. If you own commercial property that could be at risk of being impacted by mudslides, DIC insurance may be a practical solution.

If you’re not even sure about how big (or small) your risk may be, contact us. At National Flood Experts, we’ll do a free evaluation of your property. Once you have a reliable assessment, we can discuss your options. Since it comes at no cost, you have nothing to lose.

2 thoughts on “Are Mudslides Covered by Flood Insurance?

  1. Thanks for sharing the definition of a flood as defined by FEMA. It is good to know that a mudslide is likely covered by flood insurance considering that the FEMA definition includes mud. A few years ago, so homes on a hill were damaged in a mudslide after a heavy storm not too far from my house. I’ve always wondered if I should get flood insurance, and now I think it would be a good idea.

    1. Caution; what will be covered by flood insurance is mudflow which is defined as water carrying mud. Imagine a milkshake consistency. What will not be covered is a mudslide which is wet soil with a consistency of a wet cake.

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