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Destroyed car pushed against tree in front of Montecito Inn at Olive Mill Road in Montecito, CA January 9th, 2018 Santa Barbara (Photo: Media Bakery13 / Shutterstock.com)

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones issued a formal notice to all property and casualty insurance companies on Jan. 29 regarding homeowners’ claims from the recent mudslides and debris flows.

The notice acknowledges that homeowners’ and certain commercial property insurance policies frequently have exclusions for losses from mudflow, debris flow, mudslide, landslide or other similar events. Under California insurance law, the exclusions are not enforceable if the facts establish that the wildfire, which is a covered peril, was the “efficient proximate cause” of the subsequent flowing, mudflow, debris flow, mudslide, landslide, or other similar events.

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