April Showers, Nature’s Power

The threat of mudflow/landslides from heavy winter rains is subsiding in most areas of the country. But especially in hilly areas that have been deforested by wildfires or development, homeowners need to remember that:

  1. Burned vegetation and tree removal can cause soil erosion, land destabilization and major headaches for downhill landowners.
  2. Earth movement, landslides and earthquakes are excluded under most homeowners’ policies.
  3. “Riders” or separate policies that plug these exclusion holes are generally available (for a price) from a public and private insurers.
  4. Flood policies cover mud flow/earth movement in certain scenarios.
  5. The main seller of flood insurance in the U.S. is the National Flood Insurance Program, (NFIP), a public program run by FEMA. The program was recently re-authorized after a political battle: www.floodsmart.gov

Visit UP’s Buying Tips Library for tips on plugging holes in your coverage for property damage from water/flood, earth movement and earthquakes.

The good news: Buying flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will cover you for damage from mudflow. If you would like the additional peace-of-mind of having flood insurance, contact your insurance agent or broker and ask them for a quote. Depending on where you live, you may qualify for a Preferred Risk Policy for as low as $119 per year. Be aware there may be a thirty-day waiting list to acquire the insurance. For more information on flood insurance visit the National Flood Insurance Program’s website atwww.floodsmart.gov 

Editor’s Note:
Our March Tip of the Month warned car owners about the “cons” of using an insurer’s preferred vendor or “direct repair facility” instead of a local, trusted body shop. Several readers wrote to point out the “pros”.Click here to read what our readers had to say.

To read past Tips of the Month, click here.