Spring Rain, Sump Pumps, and Property Damage: Are You Covered?


 
As if we haven’t seen enough rain in our part of the country already, Spring rains are right around the corner.
 
A surprising number of homeowners are not aware that sewer back-up coverage is not a standard part of a homeowner’s insurance policy. It’s vital that you verify whether or not you have coverage under your homeowner’s policy. It can be a result of a failure on the part of a sump pump or other system designed to deal with excess water. Without this coverage added to your policy, you could discover that you have little to no coverage available in the event of a serious sewer/water back-up. If you have a basement, a Sump pump, or a floor drain, chances are you need this coverage endorsement under your homeowner’s policy to be protected adequately.
 
Coverage amounts for water/sewer back-up vary from company to company, but usually range from $5,000 to $25,000 with options for higher limits equal to coverage A(dwelling limit). When deciding how much coverage you want, consider factors like electronics, furniture, and flooring materials you may need repaired or replaced if your home is damaged by a water back-up.
 
Tips to minimize Sewer back-up
Prevention is always better than dealing with damage even if you do have the coverage in place to pay the claim. There are several things you can do to help prevent sewer back-up from destroying your home and property:

  • Install back-up sump pumps and check regularly to ensure they are in good working order
  • Have backflow valves installed in your home
  • Ensure that your property has good drainage – a slope that moves away from your home is best
  • Keep all of your eaves, gutters and downspouts clean and clear to allow proper drainage

 
In some cases, especially extreme ones, back-up might not be preventable, but the damage can at the very least be minimized with these precautions.