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No insurance for repeat landslides

TORRENTIAL rains have caused landslides in several areas of Slovakia and driven people from their homes. Some of the affected houses were later restored but many others had to be demolished. While most people can purchase insurance to cover this risk, along with damage caused by other natural disasters, it is difficult for those living in areas repeatedly suffering from landslides to buy insurance cover, the TASR newswire wrote in March.

A devastating landslide in eastern SlovakiaA devastating landslide in eastern Slovakia (Source: T. Somogyi)

TORRENTIAL rains have caused landslides in several areas of Slovakia and driven people from their homes. Some of the affected houses were later restored but many others had to be demolished. While most people can purchase insurance to cover this risk, along with damage caused by other natural disasters, it is difficult for those living in areas repeatedly suffering from landslides to buy insurance cover, the TASR newswire wrote in March.

“Insurance companies used to “pack” individual risks into groups and then it would be up to the clients to choose which package of risks they wanted to insure against and whether or not landslides were covered,” stated Jozefína Žáková, the general director of the Slovak Insurance Association (SLASPO), as quoted by TASR, adding that it is not common to underwrite insurance only against landslides.

Žáková told TASR that the risk of a landslide, compared to other natural disasters, is quite specific, adding that the basic premise of insurance is that it only covers accidental or unexpected risks. She said that once an area of land begins to move, this process tends to become continuous and irreversible and that after the first landslide it is impossible to consider further landslides as accidents and that is why insurance companies usually offer insurance against landslides only for the first occurrence.

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