Some common questions we receive when it comes to water back up of sewer and drain include: "What is water back up of sewer and drain?" "Isn’t it the same as flood insurance?", or "Do I really need water back up coverage?" This can be a bit of a confusing topic. Our role is to educate people on the importance of reviewing all of the coverages that are available for people to purchase.
Almost all basic homeowner’s insurance policies exclude any property coverage for water that backs up through a sewer, drain, or sump pump. But guess what? The cost of this typically ranges from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars depending on the extent of damage. Without this coverage, your items that are damaged because of this type of loss, are not covered. An endorsement must be added to your insurance policy for water back-up coverage and the limits and deductibles vary.
Examples of Water Back-up Claims:
Sump Pump Failure Example
The failure of a sump pump, due to manufacturer defects or a downpour of rain that it cannot keep up with, causes water from the sump pump to back up into your newly re-finished basement. Damage to replace the new flooring and carpet in the basement was $5,000 and the insured had to call a restoration company to help dry the water to prevent mold which was $1,500. If the water back-up endorsement would have been added to this homeowners policy with a $5,000 limit, the insured would have just paid their deductible of $1,000 out of their pocket.
Power Outage Example
There is a large storm and the power goes out in your neighborhood. You have a battery backup for your sump pump but it fails! It results in your sump pump overflowing and causes water damage in your home. It affects your washer and dryer, the flooring in your room, among other items. You end up having a $8,500 claim! You have water-backup coverage so end up paying your $1,000 deductible vs. $8,500!
What is Flood Insurance?
Water back-up coverage is NOT flood insurance. Flood Insurance is a separate policy, offered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This program defines flood as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties. You do NOT need to live in a flood zone in order to purchase a flood policy. Contact your insurance agent today to discuss.
Is Seepage Covered?
One common question we receive is when people have water that is coming in through their basement floor or walls, through tiny little cracks. This is known as seepage. Seepage is not covered under water back-up coverage, nor is it covered under flood. Seepage is typically excluded on most policies, however, here at TROXELL, we do have some companies that do provide this type of coverage.
As you can see, there are several different scenarios relating to water and water coverage. Be sure to talk to your Troxell agent about all of these items and any other concerns you have on protecting your home. Our job is to protect you and educate you on what coverage is available to you. Everyone's needs are unique so one policy may not fit all!
This article was written by:
Sharlene Langford, CIC, CISR, AIS, AINS, HACCP
Sharlene is an insurance advisor located in the Chicagoland area. She comes with many years of experience and works hard to understand her clients and their needs. Sharlene can be reached at 312-948-5232.
Troxell Insurance is a locally-owned insurance agency in Illinois, offering auto insurance, business insurance, personal insurance, life insurance, health insurance, and employee benefits.