Water damage can be a pervasive and very expensive hazard for any homeowner, and you never know when it might arise. Anything from a burst pipe to an overflowing sewer system could cause hazardous, unsanitary and far-reaching damage in any home.
However, sewer backups are not typically covered under the standard terms of homeowners insurance. Still, endorsements are available to help you get this coverage at a reasonable cost. Here’s how it works.
What Protection Does This Benefit Offer?
For an additional premium to your homeowners insurance policy, an endorsement for water backup and sump discharge will cover losses caused by the following:
The backup of water or waterborne materials through a sewer or through a drain.
Water or waterborne material that overflows from a sump, even if the backup of water is due to the mechanical breakdown of the sump pump.
Coverage includes damage to covered property but excludes the sump pump and any related equipment that has broken down.
The endorsement does not cover losses that involve owner negligence, such as from damage as the result of forgetting to turn on your sump pump, or damages caused by a flood.
What Can I Do to Avoid Sewer Backups?
Of course, some causes of sewer backups are unavoidable. Still, it never hurts for you to do your due diligence in making sure that you keep those risks as minimal as possible. Here are just a few tasks that you can use to your advantage in these cases:
Paper products: Do not flush anything other than toilet paper down your drain.
Cooking grease: Instead of rinsing grease down your drain, dispose of cooled grease in your garbage.
Shrub and tree roots: It’s common for the roots of trees and shrubs to make their way into sewer line cracks. Over time, the cracks allow debris to build up. If you have continuing problems with tree roots in your sewer lateral, consider replacing it with a pipe made of plastic.
Illegal plumbing connections: Connecting flood control systems to your sanitary sewer only spells trouble. Consult a plumber to correct any illegal connections.
Does Water in My Basement Qualify for Coverage?
Often, water entering the basement is not due to a sewer backup but rather from poor soil grading around your home’s exterior. Therefore, if a water problem is not related to a sewer backup, then you won’t have coverage for your damage. Always make sure you have properly sealed the foundation and that your drainage systems function properly, in order to reduce the risk of water in the basement.
What’s the Cost of Coverage?
The cost of sewer backup coverage is affordable and usually easily integrated with your existing homeowners insurance premiums. Our personal lines team can provide you with more information about coverage costs, limits and deductibles. Contact us to learn more about this coverage and all the affordable ways we can help you to protect your home and personal property.