As winter bears down on wildfire areas, Californians are warned about the risk of mudslides

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In advance of winter weather potentially bringing floods, mudslides, debris flows, and other disasters to recently burned areas across the state, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara is warning residents to evaluate their insurance coverage in order to protect themselves and their assets.

 

In order to remind insurers of their obligation to pay for damage from any mudslide or other comparable catastrophe brought on by recent wildfires that damaged slopes, the commissioner issued a notification to insurers.

In the event of heavy rain, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has forecast an increased likelihood of debris flow for portions of the state that have been burned by fire.

 

Unless they are directly or indirectly caused by a recent wildfire or another risk covered by the relevant insurance policy, flood, mudslides, debris flows, and other similar calamities are often excluded from homeowners’ and commercial insurance plans. This may surprise many Californians.

It’s critical to recognize the distinction between “mudslides” and “mudflow” for insurance purposes.

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When a pile of rock or earth slips downhill due to gravity, it is called a mudslide.

They are often not covered by flood insurance because they don’t contain enough liquid to seep into your property.

In actuality, no policy provides coverage for mudslides.

 

Flood insurance, which is offered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) of FEMA and an increasing number of private insurers, covers mudslides.

Similar to flood, a mudflow is not covered by typical homeowner’s and business insurance plans; you must purchase additional coverage.

 

Consumers can find information about their insurance coverage on a fact sheet published by the California Department of Insurance.

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