Ask Finney: Mudslide insurance, trade show returns, credit scores

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- 7 On Your Side's Consumer expert Michael Finney answers your consumer questions.

Question 1:

Korbel from the East Bay asked us on Twitter:

When it comes to mudslides, is it better to have homeowners insurance or flood insurance? I have flood insurance.

Answer 1:

It is best to have both, but get this: neither will cover many mud slides. It all depends on what caused the slide and its physical consistency. The general rule is: water falling is covered by homeowners insurance and water rising is covered by flood insurance. A mudslide is not just water, so it is not included. In Montecito, it appears they are going to be covered by flood insurance because the mud flow will probably be considered water, not moving earth. There is an insurance called "Difference in Conditions." It may cover many of these conditions, but it is expensive, rare and you need to consult with experts.

Question 2:

Lauren from Martinez asked:

I spent more than $700 on trade show equipment for my small business that had a ton of problems. The customer service representative said all "sales are final," but offered credit for other items. She said she will talk to her boss. I have not heard back. Anything I can do to get my money back?

Answer 2:

Like any retailer, legal trade shows are able to set their own rules on returns and exchanges. But, also like retailers, they need to tell you your rights before buying. If not, you get a seven day return. Also, if you used a credit card, you can protest saying the item is not living up to its promise.

Question 3:

Tim from San Francisco asked:

If my wife and I want to decrease the credit limits of our credit cards or even close them, will our credit scores be impacted?

Answer 3:

Yes, your credit score will be impacted. Generally speaking, closing a credit card will shrink your available credit. So, if you have any debt or even use your credit card, it will increase your debt to limit ratio and that decreases your credit score. But, I will say this: If your card has an annual fee, you could consider closing that card.
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