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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Dealing With Mudflow-Related Property Damage, Insurance Coverage, and Damage Restoration

5/16/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers tips to help homeowners navigate the insurance concerns of property damage from mudflows.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto provides property damage restoration for homes damaged by a mudflow. It is challenging for homeowners to navigate the complexities of the insurance claims process for the water and structural damage caused by a mudflow. To help homeowners overcome these insurance challenges, SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers four tips on how to work through the insurance claims process in the aftermath of a mudflow.

Heavy rain on soil having little or no vegetation can result in a mudslide or mudflow. Homes in areas with this type of soil condition are vulnerable. Unfortunately, a standard homeowners policy generally does not cover property damage caused by mudflow, mudslides, or earthquakes. Under certain circumstances, a rider or separate policy can be purchased to cover damage from these incidents. A policy through the National Flood Insurance Program does cover mudflow. However, the mudflow must be primarily liquid. A high concentration of vegetative debris, rocks, and sediments may disqualify a claim.

Some tips on navigating insurance concerns involving property damage from mudflows.

Tip #1: Understand what a mudflow is.

According to FEMA, “An NFIP policy covers mudflow if it meets the general definition of flooding under the standard flood insurance policy. Mudflow is defined separately 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.’”

Tip #2: Clarify the extent of the policy’s coverage.

The best way to know if a policy in force covers mudflow damage is to consult an insurance agent and request a review of the policy. Consider these questions:

  • Are there any exclusions in the policy coverage for land movement?
  • Are there requirements to protect the property against further loss?
  • How does the insurance company define “property?”
  • Does the policy cover costs for land stabilization?

Tip #3: Do not wait until the last minute to purchase insurance that covers mudflow.

NFIP flood policies cover mudflow. A thirty-day waiting period is in effect from the date of purchase.

Tip #4: Hire a professional to handle the cleanup and restoration of mudflow damage.

The safest and quickest way to clean and restore a home damaged by a mudflow is to hire a property damage restoration company with experience in mudflow remediation. A mudflow contains water, mud, rocks, and vegetative debris most likely contaminated with pathogens from the soil, raw sewage, and toxic chemicals. Safe cleanup requires personal protective gear such as boots, protective clothing, gloves, masks or respirators, and protective eyewear or face shields to keep splash out of the eyes.

Layers of mud must be removed along with water and moisture. Commercial-grade equipment is needed to quickly tackle this heavy-duty job before advanced secondary damage occurs. Cleanup of flood- and mud-damaged items must be executed swiftly if the belongings are to be salvaged. Unfortunately, fabrics contaminated with black water must be discarded.

Once the water, mud, and moisture are removed, the damage site is disinfected, sanitized, and deodorized to make it safe for humans and pets. Certified technicians utilize advanced cleaning techniques and EPA-approved cleaning products. Restoration can begin once the site cleanup is completed.

Why SERVPRO of Palo Alto

The insurance claims process is complicated. Successfully navigating the twists and turns can prove challenging even for the seasoned professional. SERVPRO of Palo Alto is able to manage the process from beginning to end. It starts with an initial inspection and assessment of the property damage. Using the industry-standard software Xactimate, a detailed estimate documented with images and video is created and presented to the client. In many cases, SERVPRO of Palo Alto has already worked with the customer’s insurance company and knows what expectations and requirements the company has for damage restoration service providers. The SERVPRO staff handling the claims process are specially trained to handle the entire process so that the homeowner can focus on recovering from the disaster.

By taking a proactive approach and pre-qualifying SERVPRO of Palo Alto as their dedicated damage restoration company, homeowners can have peace of mind knowing that only one phone call is needed to have a team of certified and experienced professionals arrive on the scene to remediate the property damage.

When property damage occurs, home and business owners can contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto to respond rapidly to the emergency. The team is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year. For more information about Redwood City, CA, property damage restoration services, email SERVPRO of Palo Alto at office@SERVPROpaloalto.com or call (650) 800-3448.

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