Landslide Coverage

Houses in Western Washington, the Cascade foothills,  Puget Sound, and on hills and areas near cliff sides all over rainy Western Washington are at risk for land slide. Arizona and Oregon are also not strangers to landslides. So wherever your home is located it is wise to assess your need for landslide insurance.

Are you questioning how to cover your home if there were to be a landslide or mudslide?  Do you need a Flood policy, an Earthquake policy, or something else?

 

Would a Flood Policy cover it?

A Flood policy would cover mudflow damage as long as the mud is carried by a river or stream of water. So, if a dam breaks and picks up a hillside and carries it into your home then it should be covered. Of course to be deemed a flood more than 2 acres or 2 properties would also need to be involved.  However, a flood policy would not cover damage if a hillside becomes saturated as a result of rainfall and slowly begins to move downhill. Mudflows are covered by flood insurance—mudslides are not.

Here are the FEMA definitions per Floodsmart.gov:

Mudflows v. Mudslides
A mudflow is a flooding condition where a river of liquid and flowing mud moves on the surface of normally dry land areas. Mudflows are different from mudslides, in which a dry or wet mass of earth or rock moves downhill. Though a flood may trigger a landslide, damage is caused by the falling mass of rock or earth, not the water.”

Would an Earthquake policy cover it?

Sliding ground is earth movement so this should be covered under an Earthquake policy right?

Unfortunately, it is unlikely to be covered by your Earthquake policy. Why?  Most earthquake policies specifically exclude for landslide.  So what can a homeowner concerned with protecting their home for landslide/mudslide do?

Consider a Difference in Conditions Policy.

 

What is a Difference In Conditions Insurance Policy?

A Difference in Conditions (DIC) Policy is designed to to provide catastrophe protection for certain losses not generally covered by standard homeowner policies such as flood, earthquake, and landslide.

These policies are generally written to cover all risks of physical loss or damage from any external cause, including flood or earthquake, except coverage is not provided for loss or damage directly or indirectly caused by a peril covered in Section I of a standard Homeowners Policy Form 3, or other perils excluded in the policy. It will not cover what your homeowners policy already covers. It is meant to broaden or cover the gaps a standard home policy leaves you with.

 

Are you interested in this type of policy?

If so give us a call at 425-228-7406, for a free no obligation quote with the Homeowners Catastrophe Insurance Trust (HCIT).

Landslide Resources

NASA Solid Earth Science Working Group (SESWG) – Information on recent landslides, landslide susceptibility maps, etc.
Washington State Department of Natural Resources  – Landslide Hazard Zonation Project

Department of Ecology Puget Sound landslide

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