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Floods, slides, damage: Does your homeowner's insurance cover?

With rains, flooding and mudslides there is usually some confusion as to what homeowner's insurance covers.
February 28, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
With rains, flooding and mudslides there is usually some confusion as to what homeowner's insurance covers. And what you should take with you if you have to evacuate because of mudslides?

Mudslides and landslides can be devastating to home and property, and once they get going there is virtually no way to stop them.

But unfortunately the damage a mudslide or landslide causes is not covered by your homeowner's insurance policy.

Flooding is another story, because it depends on if it's rising water or falling water causing the flood. If you have a flood from rising waters, then only a flood insurance policy covers you.

Flood insurance, by the way, does require a 30-day processing period, so even if you buy it today, it won't go into effect immediately.

If, by chance, you have flooding from water that's falling from the sky, such as through a hole in the roof, or you have flooding from a broken pipe in the home, then your homeowner's insurance would cover the damage.

Wind damage, or if a tree falls on your home, then your homeowner's insurance will pay for the damage.

If for some reason you have to evacuate your home, be sure to take these important items with you:

  • insurance policies
  • financial and mortgage papers
  • credit cards
  • photos
  • birth certificates
  • passports
  • prescriptions

One more thing: If your motor vehicle suffers any kind of damage due to the storm, whether it be flooding, mud, a tree falls on it, and you have a comprehensive policy, then your insurance will pay for the damage, minus any deductible you might have.

By the way, if you have a swimming pool, make sure you drain some of the water from it. If the rains cause it to overflow and it floods your house, your insurance won't cover the damage unless you have a flood insurance policy.