Water backup and sump overflow coverage

Water backup and sump overflow coverage is an endorsement that can be added to your homeowners insurance to help pay for damage caused by backed up sewers, drains, and sump pumps.

flooded laundry room with staircase to the left of a washer, dryer, and ironing board

What is water backup and sump overflow coverage?

Sewer backups and sump overflows seem like common enough problems that homeowners are often surprised to learn that damage caused by these events are usually excluded from home insurance. Luckily, most insurance companies offer an endorsement to cover water backup and sump overflow.

This endorsement is usually an inexpensive add-on that may cover damage to your property that’s caused by:

  • Water backing up from a drain or sewer.
  • Water overflowing or being discharged from a sump, sump pump, or related equipment.

Say a drain backs up in your house, causing murky water to warp your floors and walls. Water backup coverage may help pay for those repairs.

What does water backup and sump overflow insurance cover?

The pipes that carry water to and from your home are your responsibility. They can back up because of debris or heavy rains – sometimes even tree roots crack through pipes under your property. When they do, the resulting damage can be pretty severe.

Water backup coverage typically helps you recover from that damage by paying for:

  • Water removal.
  • Material and labor for repairs.
  • Replacement appliances and other items.

We can offer water backup and sump overflow coverage as an add-on to your policy with coverage limits of either $5,000 or $10,000 and a $1,000 deductible.

What’s not covered by a water backup and sump overflow?

Water backup coverage typically does not pay for damage caused by:

  • Broken sump pump. Malfunctioning equipment is usually covered by an equipment breakdown endorsement.
  • External water. Flooding, storm surge, and overflow of outside bodies of water aren’t covered by this endorsement. For that, you usually need flood insurance.
  • Neglect and poor maintenance. Home insurance doesn't cover damage caused by wear and tear and lack of maintenance, and this endorsement typically doesn't either.

How much does water backup and sump overflow coverage cost?

The cost of water backup coverage varies from company to company, but it typically ranges from $25 to $70 a year. The best way to find out? Get a quote!

How to prevent sewer backups and sump pump overflows

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. While water backup coverage is an essential safety net when the unexpected happens, do what you can to prevent backups and overflows. For example:

  • Don't pour grease down the drain. Pouring grease down the drain is convenient, but it can do a number on your pipes. The grease can harden and create a clog that causes water backup. Plus, cooking oils aren’t great for the environment. Instead, collect grease in a can and throw it away in the trash.
  • Dispose paper products appropriately. Only toilet paper should go down the toilet. Nearly everything else – sanitary products, paper towels, and diapers – can cause clogs.
  • Check for roots. Tree roots are one of the biggest threats to your plumbing system. Some signs that a problem is imminent are slow emptying drains and sinkholes in your lawn. If you see either of these, you may want to hire a plumber to run a sewer line camera through your pipes.
  • Perform regular maintenance. Regularly clean out your gutters and have your pipes flushed every year. If you have a sump pump, unplug it to look for corrosion and remove debris on an annual basis.
  • Install a backwater prevention valve.This simple valve allows water and waste out but won’t let it back in. However, installing one is a job for a professional plumber.

With a little care, you can reduce your chances of having water backup problems. That not only saves you the hassle of cleanup, but it minimizes the likelihood of filing claim – and that saves you money in the long run.

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