|This massive landslide destroyed an entire neighborhood.|
Then, on Wednesday, March 26, another big landslide struck Whidbey Island, taking one home with it and leaving 33 more perched precariously on the edge. Although no one died in this slide, many homes were evacuated and there’s still the danger of more landslides in the area. Many of the homes will not be inhabitable after this, since they are perched on the edge of an unstable cliff now.
|This slide took one home and left 33 others in danger.|
If you are a homeowner, you need to be aware that typical homeowner policies do not cover damage done by land movement or landslides due to:
• Rain runoff
• Snow melt
Companies do not include landslides in the standard home policy because if they did, they would be requiring people who have chosen to live in safer areas to subsidize those who live in riskier places, said Karl Newman, president of the Northwest Insurance Council in Seattle.
Homeowners need to consider buying additional insurance to protect their property from possible damage caused by these forces of nature. The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner encourages owners to look at these various options:
Landslide Insurance ('Difference in Condition' Policy)The 'Difference in Condition' policy covers landslides, mudflows, earthquakes and floods.
• Content coverage - Buy a special rider for your homeowner policy that includes coverage for the contents of your home from all earth-movement perils. This rider only covers contents, not the structure. Some insurance companies may not offer this option, so you may need to shop around.
• Separate earth-movement coverage - Buy this coverage that includes structures, such as your house or any other unattached buildings on your property. Your agent or broker may be able to get you this coverage in the surplus lines market. These are companies that insure risks the industry traditionally doesn't insure. Note: If your home is on a hillside, this coverage may be difficult to obtain.
Flood InsuranceTypical homeowner policies do not cover flood damage, so you must buy flood insurance coverage separately. Flood insurance may apply to some kinds of earth movement, such as water-related erosion, mudflows, and flash floods.
Earthquake insuranceYou also must buy earthquake insurance separately, either as an additional policy or as an endorsement to your regular homeowner policy.
If you're concerned about your property, but don't know if you need to get additional coverage? Call your SAV-ON agent and find out what, if any, coverage you need to be protected. Remember that this coverage typically requires a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins, so call us today! 888-867-2866.
Source: Office of the Washington State Commissioner of Insurance
Photos courtesy of CNN, The Chicago Tribune