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Insurance Article

Monsoon Is Here: Are You Covered Against Landslides?

June 14 2016
Protect your home from Landslide

Protect your dream home from the financial burden a landslide can bring

Monsoon is one of the most sought-after seasons in the Indian subcontinent and is a key driver of the Indian agri-economy. However, although welcomed, the season brings with it heavy floods and landslides and triggers a series of other disasters in some parts of the country.

According to the Disaster Management Department of Uttarakhand, on an average 73 people have lost their lives every year since 2001 due to landslide and flash floods, excluding the disaster of 2013. The condition of other states with similar terrain including Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and some parts of Western Ghats, is not different.

What Causes Landslides?

A landslide or a landslip is a mass movement of rock, debris or earth down a slope resulting from slope failure under the influence of gravity. There are several factors which contribute to a landslide that are a combination of both natural and human activities.

Natural Factors

  • Prolonged rainfall
  • Earthquakes
  • Erosion by rivers
  • Volcanic eruptions

Human Factors

  • Deforestation
  • Modification of slopes by unnecessary construction
  • Mining and rock excavations
  • Interference with natural course of rivers

Are You Living in a Landslide Prone Area?

As per the Geological Survey of India, about 0.42 million sq. km or 12.6 percent of total land area, excluding the snow-capped areas, is prone to landslide hazard. It covers:

0.18 million sq. km in Northeast Himalayas including Darjeeling and Sikkim
0.14 million sq. km in Northwest Himalayas including Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir
0.09 million sq. km in Western Ghats and Konkan Hills including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra
0.01 million sq. km in Eastern Ghats of Araku in Andhra Pradesh

The Himalayan terrain falls under the high-intensity earthquake zone which increases the probability of earthquake-triggered landslides in the region.

How Safe Is Your Home?

If you dwell or own a house in the above mentioned areas, you need to have ground assessment to evaluate the potential landslide damage. If you are planning to build a house, you must follow the safety standards and consult a certified engineering geologist (CEG) before construction.

A small oversight can prove fatal during a disaster and could potentially wipe away everything.

The following tips can help you safeguard your dream home in a landslide prone area:

  • Before construction, carefully assess the surrounding landscape and strictly avoid steep inclines, edgy slopes and natural pathways of rivers
  • Plant the surrounding ground with trees to keep the soil firm and retaining walls to avoid boulders crashing into your home
  • Build strong pillars to keep the base of the building firm along with deflection walls to direct the flow of top-soil erosion away from the building

Go the Extra Mile

Natural disasters are unpreventable and most importantly, uncontrollable. Disasters with acute onset like landslides and flash floods arising due to heavy rainfall in monsoons can have long-lasting repercussions. To secure your home from such an unforeseen calamity, you can opt for a home insurance policy which will financially safeguard the structure and/or contents of your home and provide you peace of mind.

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