It’s one of those things most of us take for granted.
We all have indoor plumbing. And we all know plumbing can fail. Although we don’t like to think about this kind of yucky, inconvenient home disaster happening to us, it’s worth considering both how to prevent a sewer water backup from happening in the first place, and making sure you’re covered for remediation, damages and repairs if this unpleasant event occurs.
If you do have a water backup issue in your home, call a professional immediately to assess the damage. The backed-up water could be blackwater, cause mold, or structural damage to the home. Typical expenses for a water backup claim are the work to clean and dry the dwelling/property, or the cost to replace property that is destroyed.
To help prevent a water backup, be conscious of what you put in your drains.
Never pour cooking oil or grease in them. Only flush bathroom tissue in your toilets. If you do have a sump pump, check to make sure it’s working properly throughout the year.
As we mentioned last month, as a general statement insurance companies do not like water, and water damage is excluded from a homeowners policy.
An insurance policy will likely state an exclusion in language similar to this: water damage from flood or overflow of a body of water. There may also be language excluding seeps or leaks through a building or foundation.
Water backup coverage is an endorsement to the homeowners policy that removes the exclusion for waterborne material that backs up through sewers or drains or overflows from a sump or sump pump, water or waterborne material. This endorsement has its own limit on coverage and is not equal to your policy coverage.
I wanted to highlight this endorsement because water backup is the most common claim we see. In most homeowners policies, Welch Financial will include the minimum amount of coverage offered, which is $5,000. If the home doesn’t have a basement, or the basement is finished, a higher level of coverage may make sense.
We hope this spring finds you recreating on the water, not cleaning it up in your basement! Please reach out if we can help you interpret your homeowners policy and advise on water backup coverage.
To your financial success,