Mudslide, mudflow, and earth movement are excluded on just about every homeowners insurance policy in California. Very rarely, an insurance company will offer optional coverage for mudslides, but it’s generally unavailable.
Mudflow is different than a mudslide, and the difference can often times be murky. According to FEMA, Mudflow is defined (in part) as “A river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water.”. The difference is a mudslide is more of a dramatic collapse of earth down a mountain side, and mudflows often occur with other flooding conditions. To help protect your home against mudslides, make sure any retaining walls are adequately maintained, and there is plenty of vegetation on nearby hills. Having a healthy amount of tree and plant roots is one of the best ways to keep the soil surrounding your home sturdy and in place.
While there are very few options to insure against mudslides, the good news is you can purchase coverage for mudflow and earth movement. Flood insurance has coverage for mudflow, and earthquake insurance has forms of coverage for earth movement. Policies for each generally start at around $100/yr., and will vary based on your home’s location and specifics.
Owner of Paul Nelson Insurance, and resident of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties for 30 years.