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Will Home Owners Insurance Protect Your Home in a Storm?

Jul 4, 2008
The news has been filled with stories on environmental disasters lately. As more and more storms roll over the country, citizens in the coastal communities and in the Midwest alike are asking the same question: Is my house safe? And if not, will my home owners insurance cover me for my house value?

For most people, their home is their biggest source of financial equity and the biggest part of their portfolio. To lose a home in a vicious storm not only puts the family on the street, it can be financially devastating as well. Many homeowners are overly confident in their home insurance and the coverage it provides. But will your home insurance really protect you and your home after a storm devastates your property?

Mudslides are typically covered by the standard home owners insurance policy. After all, mudslides are often associated with California, but nowhere else in the country. However, many homes that live on the banks of rivers are in direct threat of losing their home to a mudslide after a tremendous storm with flooding. If your home washes away in a mudslide, you can effectively lose everything, even if you have been a patient and conscientious insurance payer for decades.

Look to see what your home insurance coverage provides. Many standard home owners insurance programs do not take floods, mudslides and earthquakes into account, meaning that if the home is damaged this way, their home value will not be covered.

One of the biggest reasons why home owners insurance does not cover these possibilities is due to the risk factor. Many homes are not located in high risk areas where a mudslide is probable and for this reason, the insurance companies do not want to take on the coverage.

Secondly, this type of insurance coverage can be very costly and expensive. If you live in an area that does not have the risk of mudslide and the addition coverage is expensive, chances are you will forego that coverage. And just like that, if your home floats off the riverbank and down the river, you will have lost everything.

Ask your home insurance provider about potential options with your coverage. There are some insurance companies that will offer flood insurance at a discount rate for homes that are not located within a flood zone. You can potentially get coverage for just a few hundred dollars a year and eliminate that risk for your property.

Another smart option is to talk with the experts. Get a mud engineer to come out and look at your property. If you are located on a river bank or on the side of a mountain or hilly area, you might be concerned about mudslides in general.

Have an expert come to your property and do an analysis on the mud and soil located under and around your home. With his or her results, you can make a more educated decision about the likelihood of a mudslide happening to your property and adjust your insurance coverage accordingly. Of course, if a mudslide is more likely than you thought, you might want to consider moving!
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