Jaspers, Moriarty & Wetherille, P.A.
Seasoned Legal Judgment For The South Metro Area

June 2014 Archives

Homeowners Insurance and Mudslides

Many Southwest Metro homeowners are looking carefully at their homeowner's insurance policies after hearing news of some devastating mudslides and flooding at local homes (see these two stories A & B). Most homeowner's policies cover many types of perils like fires, smoke, wind, hail, theft and glass breakage. However, these policies often have many exclusions to the coverage including some matters which arguably exclude flood and mudslide damage, meaning that if the damage comes from one of those excluded sources, the insurance company doesn't pay. There may be a way around those exclusions. The two most important exclusions that are coming up now are a flood or water backup exclusion, and the exclusion for earthquakes or other earth movement which can include mudslides. Many homeowners don't realize that their policy fails to cover all perils, and they don't usually figure that out until it's too late. Many Minnesota homeowners have come to understand that special additional flood insurance is necessary to cover flood damage, based on a long history of flood stories from the Fargo/Moorhead area. But that type of knowledge about exclusions may not be the case for mudslides - how often does Minnesota experience mudslides, right?

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