Traditional homeowners insurance does not cover landslides

Traditional insurance won't cover landslides

PORTLAND, Ore. -- We've seen a lot of landslides recently threatening to take down homes, which raises the question: Can you get insurance for a landslide?

Some can, but those who need it the most likely won't be able to get it.

Traditional homeowners insurance does not cover landslides.

Mark Strauss is an independent insurance agent. He says while some homeowners may be able to purchase an add-on policy that covers landslides, they would first have to apply and then qualify for one. And that could be tricky.

"If the house three doors down, slid down the hill, you're not going to... be offered a policy," Strauss said.

If you do qualify, it will cost you about $2,500 to $4,000 a year for at $400,000 home, according to Strauss.

But that could change.

Portland State University professor Scott Burns has teamed up with geologists across the nation to lobby Congress for better landslide coverage.

He says states have already been compiling the data on landslides the insurance companies would need.

"Anybody on a slope should have landslide insurance because you never know when these things are going to happen," Burns said.

Burns says there aren't that many houses damaged by landslides every year compared to how many people could buy insurance.

That means the risk to insurance companies would not be that high.

Burns hopes to see landslide coverage more widely available in the next few years.

KGW


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