Homeowners insurance typically covers sudden and accidental water damage that starts within your home, such as a pipe that has burst. However, it does not include damages caused by water backing up through sewers, drains, appliances, or sump pumps. Adding a water backup endorsement to your policy is an economical way to avoid potential coverage gaps.
Water backup coverage is one of the most popular optional coverages you can add to a renters or homeowners policy. That's because coverage is inexpensive and these types of claims are a common and costly mess to deal with on your own.
How much water backup coverage do I need?
Where to start and tips to calculate
The most common place for a water backup incident to occur is your basement, so it would be a good place to start with calculating your actual personal property that is kept downstairs. If you have items like couches, a pool table, kids toys, items in storage, wine cellar, televisions, and workout equipment you can see how this will all start to add up fairly quickly. Other fixtures are included in this property amount as well such as countertops, bars, bathroom toilet, and sink.
It is important to make sure your limit on your sewer and water backup is taking all of these different items into account. Keep in mind you can also use your sewer and water backup coverage to pay for the costs of water removal and remediation. These are services used to come in and restore your property, removing the water, and restoring your property as it previously was. If the damage is extensive, drywall may need to be replaced.
As you can see, there are quite a few things that need to be taken into consideration when you calculate how much water backup coverage do I need. A $5,000 or even a $10,000 endorsement may not always be adequate. The formula can be viewed as:
Personal Property + Water removal and remediation cost + Damage to permanent home fixtures
Water backup coverage options usually come in these increments:
You'll have to pay your deductible before water backup coverage kicks in. The water backup deductible could be the same amount as your standard homeowners insurance deductible or it might be a special deductible amount - that will vary by policy and insurer.
I would encourage you to reach out to your home and auto insurance agent to see if you are properly insured when it comes to sewer and water backup coverage. If you are interested, please feel free to reach out to us for a free estimate. Thank you very much and we look forward to hearing from you.
Home & Auto Insurance Consultant
Connor & Gallagher OneSource (CGO)
This blog is for educational and/or informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.