Fire is bad enough, but the risks continue even after the flames are put out. Large-scale wildfires can change the terrain of a region, charring the vegetation and destabilizing the soil, which significantly ups the risk of flooding and mudslides. Here’s what your clients need to do to protect their homes with insurance.
Flood and Mudﬂow Damage: Know that flood damage is NOT covered by most homeowners policies. To be covered in case of a flood, you must purchase separate flood insurance prior to the flood itself.
Consider purchasing flood insurance. Check with your current insurance provider to see if they offer flood insurance as an add-on. You can also purchase and learn more about flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program at floodsmart.gov. The average policy costs around $600 per year. Note that it may take 30 days from date of purchase for the policy to go into effect.
Mudslide Damage: A mudslide is typically classified as “earth movement” and is not covered by most homeowners policies. However, if a mudslide was caused by a wildfire, the resulting damage may be covered.
If your house is damaged by a mudslide, first file a claim with your homeowners insurance provider and flood insurance provider.
If your claim is denied, ask for a written explanation. Depending on the amount of damage, you may wish to consult with an insurance coverage attorney to assist you in any dispute with the insurer. You may also file a “Request for Assistance” form with the California Department of Insurance (CDI).
Learn more tips and download the flyer to share with those in wildfire zones.