Spring showers are coming. Do you have a backup plan?
Water damage—resulting from backed up drains or failed pumps—is one of the most common homeowners insurance claims, ranking as the third most costly claim behind fire and liability lawsuits, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
What is water backup coverage?
A water backup and sump pump overflow endorsement on your homeowners or renters insurance provides added protection from costly water damage resulting from backed up drains or failed sump pumps.
What causes water backup?
Water backup damage most commonly occurs when a drain, sewer or gutter backs up, or a pump fails, forcing water into your home. This could stem from a heavy rain, debris causing a clog or even tree root invasion from your yard—a common problem in established areas with mature trees.
Does my homeowners policy cover water backup?
Homeowners insurance does not typically cover water backup damage. Water backup and sump pump overflow coverage is an optional coverage (called an endorsement) that must be added on to a homeowners policy.
A standard homeowners insurance policy covers certain types of water damage as long as it’s sudden, accidental, and originated on the insured property. This means water damage caused by a burst pipe or broken HVAC or protective sprinkler system would all be covered under standard coverage. Likewise, wind-driven rain that enters your home through an opening (like a hole in your roof or window) that was caused by an insured peril would also be covered.
Several types of water damage, such as flooding, surface water, water that seeps up from the ground, and water that backs up through sewers or drains or overflows through a sump pump, are all excluded from coverage. To supplement this gap in coverage, many insurance companies offer separate flood insurance to cover flood disasters. But what about more common household issues like sewer and sump pump backups? This is where water backup coverage comes in.
What does water backup insurance cover?
Water backup insurance provides coverage for damage to your property caused by a clogged sewer line, failed sump pump and backed up drains. It also covers mold damage to your home caused by water or sewer backup.
What does water backup insurance NOT cover?
Water backup coverage won’t pay to repair or replace a broken sump pump (you’ll need equipment breakdown coverage for that)—nor does it cover water damage resulting from flooding, surface water, waves, tsunamis, tidal water, or overflow of any body of water—including pools. It also won’t cover overflow or backups that can be attributed to routine maintenance issues or negligence.
How much does water backup coverage cost?
Premiums for water backup and sewer coverage vary by company and the amount of coverage chosen. Offered limits can be as low as $5,000 or go all the way up to the full replacement cost of your home.
The bottom line.
Water backup coverage is among the most essential and widely-utilized homeowners insurance coverage enhancements. Because water damage incidents are often not covered by a home policy, it’s important to make sure you are protected with a water backup endorsement. Talk to your independent insurance agent about what water backup endorsement limits suit your needs.
For more information on water backup coverage or endorsements to your homeowners insurance, contact the experienced Forest Insurance advisors at (708) 383-9000 or visit www.forestinsured.com.