When heavy rain falls on land that lacks adequate surface vegetation, it can cause mudslides/mud flow. If trees and other vegetation on or near your property have been destroyed or burned in a recent or fairly recent wildfire, your home is at higher risk for damage from mudflow. This is especially true during rainy season, and if your home is located downhill from a burned area.
Damage from earth movement, mudslides, mudflow and earthquakes is generally not covered in a standard property insurance policy. Depending on where you live and your financial resources, you may be able to buy an add-on or separate policy to cover those types of damage. A National Flood Insurance Program policy will cover mudflow as long as it's mostly liquid, not a lot of tree debris, rocks, etc. ("Chocolate Shake, not Chocolate Cake").
Read the questions and answers below to find out how to insure your home against mudflow, either through your homeowner's policy, or through a separate flood policy.
Q: What is mudflow?
A: Mudflow is defined by the National Flood Insurance Program as "a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water."
Q: Who should I call in the event I have a muflow?
The first thing to do is make sure everyone in your home or building is safe. Call 911 if necessary to recieve immmediate help for anyone injured.
You will need the help of professionals to assess the damage, secure the site and make immediate assessments and work in conjunction with your insurance company. North Idaho Flood and Fire specialiazes in just this sort of incident. Call 911 - then call 208-290-6660. We'll tke care of the rest.
Q: How do I know if mudflow is covered in my homeowner's policy?
A: Review your policy carefully and find out exactly what it includes or excludes with respect to land movement, flood, and rain. Below is the language from a sample homeowners policy.