Picture the scene. Massive trees have fallen, downed electricity poles, damaged cars and other materials scattered on the ground. Every year, in all areas of the United States, both mudslides and landslides occur, leaving devastation and destruction in their path. Cincinnati regularly sees mudslides along Columbia Parkway and within the past few years, a landslide adjacent to a building at the Legacy Condominium Association in Harrison, Ohio.
Landslides and mudslides have the power to destroy homes, businesses, and entire towns. What can you do to protect your property?
First, define what mudslides and landslides are and how they develop.
What is a mudslide?
Mudslides are forms of mass wasting characterized by a river of liquid and flowing mud that occur on a normally dry surface. Often, mudslides are triggered by large surges of water, rapid snowfall at the top of a mountain or intense rainfall.
Mudslides are different from landslides, slope failures and other types of earth movements. Mudslide occurrences can cause a lot of damage to property which is why it’s covered in te Standard Flood Insurance Policy.
What is a landslide?
A landslide is the rapid movement of debris, rock, or earth down a slope, mountain or a side of a hill. According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) all fifty states in the country are subject to landslides. There are a number of factors that can influence landslides which include climate, geology, overloading, and slope stability. Landslides can be caused by:
- Vibrations from heavy traffic
- Mining activities
- Poor alteration of drainage systems
- Excavation of rocks
- Modifications of buildings, roads and railways
- Climate changes
- Earthquake vibrations
- Volcanic eruptions
- Weathering (the natural process of rock deterioration)
Difference in Conditions Insurance
Landslides can cause extensive damage. A landslide is considered a form of “earth movement” but it is not an earthquake. Therefore, it is typically excluded from most property insurance policies. However, you can buy what is known as a “Difference in Conditions” policy. Difference in Conditions policies are sold by multiple surplus lines insurers; your insurance professional can help you find a surplus lines insurer that will meet your needs.
Article By: Michael Rice
Source: American Heritage Insurance Group