California Still On Alert for Flooding, Potential Mudslides

January 22, 2010

Parts of California continue to face flood watch and flood warnings, after a fifth day of storms, according to the National Weather Service. In Southern Califiornia, more than 1,000 homes were already under evacuation orders on Thursday, as residents braved rain and potential mudslides below fire-scarred mountains.

Los Angeles-based Mercury Insurance said it is assisting policyholders whose homes suffered damage caused by the recent series of winter rain storms and destructive winds. The company’s mobile response units are already in the field working with impacted customers, processing claims and providing assistance arranging for temporary housing and living expenses.

“Rain damage–like flood damage — can be very complex to evaluate, but our claims adjusters are working with policyholders to resolve property coverage claims related to leaking roofs, broken windows and damaged roofs from felled trees or flying debris,” said Joanna Moore, chief claims officer for Mercury.

Mercury’s claims adjusters are assessing rain damage claims that may be covered under a policyholders’ standard homeowners’ insurance policy. More significant damage caused by flooding, debris flows and slope failure or mudslides is typically covered by a separate flood insurance policy provided through the National Flood Insurance Program.

“Unless someone lives in a flood zone or is required by their lender to have flood insurance, it’s unlikely that they would have that kind of coverage,” said Moore. “There are many circumstances, however, that would be covered by a homeowners policy, so it’s important to report these claims as quickly as possible so we can get the claims process started and provide assistance.”

There were no tallies of damage estimates at press time.

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