For Part 2 of our discussion on common hurricane and storm related claims issues, let’s talk about sewer back-up and sump pump overflow issues. Heavy storm rains and other situations can cause a sewage back-up. Also, if your basement has a tendency to get water when it’s very rainy, you may have a sump pit with a pump to move the water out. But, what if the pump motor fails or the power goes out?. When these problems occur, they can cause a mini disaster.
Q. Is water damage caused by a sewer back-up or failed sump pump covered by my homeowner policy?
A. No. These events are specifically excluded in a standard homeowner policy, yet many homeowners mistakenly assume that these situations are covered.
Q. Can I purchase coverage for a sewer back-up or sump pump failure?
A. Yes. You can purchase limited coverage either as part of a package endorsement that increases several coverages on your policy or as a separate “Water Back-up and Sump Discharge or Overflow Endorsement” (click to view sample) to your policy. The coverage is usually limited to $2,500 or $5,000, which keeps the cost low, and it gives some assistance that can help when needed. Generally, the average cost is about $100, and in some cases, you can purchase more coverage.
I strongly recommend getting this protection. When you consider that your furnace, hot water tank, washer and dryer, and many other household items are located in your basement, it’s worth purchasing the maximum coverage available. We generally recommend this coverage to our customers; however, not everyone purchases protection. If you aren’t 100% sure that you have this coverage and want to have it in place, be sure to review your policy or contact your agent.