As wildfires ravaged millions of acres across the western U.S. in 2020, the risk of flooding was likely the furthest thing from most property owners’ minds. However, winter rains following fire season can cause mudflows in areas that no longer have vegetation holding the soil in place. Following the 2017 Thomas Fire, one of the most destructive wildfires in California history that burned 282,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, heavy January rains resulted in mud and debris flows that destroyed 130 homes and claimed 23 lives in the community of Montecito alone.
While the Montecito event is one of the more significant modern examples of such massive devastation, mudflows are not rare occurrences in western states. And considering the widespread wildfires of 2020, West Coast property owners are in for another challenging winter. Structures on or below hills can experience catastrophic damage from saturated and flowing soil, and it’s important to remind your customers that mudflow is a covered peril in most flood policies but not likely in their homeowners policies.
Now is the time to discuss flood coverage with your customers. Private Flood Insurance programs managed by WNC include mudflow as a covered peril, are much more robust than the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and can be placed with no waiting period. To learn more, contact us today at PrivateFloodSolution@wncfirst.com.