In the Bloom with Maria: April showers may bring May flowers—and mudflows or landslides. Is your business protected?
It was a rough 2017 for some horticultural businesses in Southern California who experienced a couple months-worth of Mother Nature’s fury that included wildfires, storms, and mudslides. As Hortica Retail Sales Specialist Maria Shepherd discovered, those natural disasters left wide-ranging damage for growers, greenhouses, and other operations in that part of the state. While you can’t stop the force of a natural disaster, there are ways you can help protect your business investments.
The weather can wreak havoc anywhere. That’s why you need to be prepared for spring showers and any dangers they may create. This is a perfect time to take a look at your business policy and see what it actually covers, what it doesn’t, and what separate coverages you may need for your flower shop or design studio.
Defining the dangers
The Insurance Information Institute examined disaster insurance coverages. They defined the types of disasters and how they differ:
- Landslides: The movement of destabilized land due to gradual erosion or an accumulation of water
- Mudflow: A river of mud
- Mudslides: A mass of earth or rock that moves downhill, propelled by gravity
Mudflows and mudslides are two different things. Mudslides typically don’t contain enough liquid to seep into your business and are not covered by any insurance policy.
However, you can insure your operation from mudflow and landslides—but they require different types of coverage.
Mudflow is covered by flood insurance from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and some private insurance companies. It’s important to understand your standard home or business policy excludes mudflow and, like flood insurance, must be purchased separately.
Landslides are also excluded from standard insurance policies, since it’s considered an earth movement event. For coverage, you have to buy a Difference in Conditions policy that often offers all-in-one coverage for landslides, mudflows, earthquakes, and floods.
Earthquakes also involve earth movement—but instead of having damage from land caused by erosion or water accumulation, these are seismic events. That means you’ll need a separate earthquake policy for property damage caused by quakes.
As a side note, you’ll also want to examine the policies you have on your business vehicles. Comprehensive coverage covers damage caused by floods and earthquakes.
Of course, the best advice is to talk with your Hortica representative for a review of your policies and coverages. They’ll be happy to sit down with you and make sure you have the protection you need.
For more information on protecting your business, check out the Hortica Resources section.
Severe weather can come quickly and without much warning. We’ll show you steps you can take to save lives, property, and money.
No one wants to think about flooding. But if it happens, there are ways you can help protect the investment you have in your business.