Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Landslides & Mudslides?
Landslides and mudslides are not covered by homeowners insurance, but you may get protection by taking out a Difference in Coverage (DIC) insurance policy. In this review, MoneyGeek finds out why homeowners insurance does not cover landslides and mudslides and details the alternative solution for homeowners who need protection from this type of peril.
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Homeowners insurance companies do not cover landslides or mudslides because of their rarity and the extensive damage they cause. Some may argue that other named perils, such as hurricanes that can cause landslides and mudslides, should cover the damage. However, because falling earth and rock are ultimately responsible for the damage to your home rather than the hurricane itself, these perils will not be covered by your standard homeowners insurance.
In cases where you do require protection, you should consider purchasing a Difference in Coverage (DIC) insurance policy, which acts as a gap coverage that fills in whatever is left uncovered after your homeowners insurance.
Landslides and mudslides, which fall under the “movements of the Earth” classification, are not covered in any type of homeowners insurance policy. To protect your home from this type of damage, you will need a Difference in Coverage (DIC) policy that provides additional coverage for your residential property.
Why Doesn’t Homeowners Insurance Cover Landslides & Mudslides?
Homeowners insurance does not cover landslides and mudslides, nor will they be covered by flood or earthquake insurance. Similar disasters considered “movements by the Earth” events such as mudflows, sinkholes and erosions are likewise not covered because damages are usually extensive and would imply enormous costs. As for mudflows, which are different from mudslides, you may be able to buy a separate coverage similar to a flood insurance policy.
To protect your home from the cost of damage, you would need to take out a DIC policy, which you may purchase as a standalone policy or as an endorsement from your current insurance provider.
Do You Need Coverage for Landslides & Mudslides?
A Difference in Coverage insurance policy typically costs a few hundred dollars more than typical homeowners insurance. This acts as expanded coverage for floods, earthquakes, hurricanes and other perils not included in your policy. Though a DIC policy is expensive, it can save you a significant amount of money if such disasters hit your home.
Reasons to Get Coverage for Landslides & Mudslides
If you live in coastal and mountainous areas
Coastal and mountainous areas are more likely to encounter landslides and mudslides. Watch out for warning signs of possible landslides. These include cracks in the ground or unstable foundations.
If you live in landslide-prone states
Some states are more prone to severe landslides. If you live in a landslide-prone state like California, Oregon or Washington, you may want to buy coverage for your protection. States that experience excessive rainfall throughout the year like Mississippi and Louisiana are also more prone to mudslides.
Where to Buy Homeowners Insurance
From major companies like State Farm to smaller insurers like Hippo, there are a lot of homeowners insurance options that could help you save money. Choose from the cheapest homeowners insurance available to you, or the best homeowners insurance that matches your needs.
A standard homeowners insurance policy averages around $175 per month. Depending on your unique property needs, your premiums could be lower or higher. To have a ballpark estimate of costs, you may use MoneyGeek’s personal property calculator.
About the Author
- Insurance Information Institute. "Insurance for Landslides and Mudflow." Accessed May 24, 2022.
- Statista. "Annual Precipitation in the United States in 2021, by State." Accessed May 24, 2022.
- USGS. "Landslide Preparedness." Accessed May 24, 2022.