The abnormally heavy rains that have occurred recently in our area have brought attention to the exposures of water and flood damage.  We thought it prudent to explain the coverage available to protect your home and your personal belongings.

Sewer Backup and Sump Pump Overflow

Backups of raw sewage through the drains in your home can be a very nasty experience. Even though they occur infrequently, they can be very costly when they do. Often times there is substantial damage to personal property stored in basements and to well furnished social rooms that are below ground level. This damage is caused by the drains through which the backup occurs since they’re found in these areas.

Homeowners policies usually contain a basic exclusion for “…water which backs up through sewers or drains or which overflows from a sump pump.”

This exclusion can be modified by adding a policy rider called Water Backup and Sump Pump Discharge Overflow. This coverage provides a specific amount of about $5,000 to $10,000 at a nominal cost of $40 to $50 on an annual insurance policy. Each company has a slightly different version of this coverage, therefore the costs may vary. Always make sure to call for an individual explanation of the coverage and price.

Leaky Basements

Water damage caused by water seeping through walls or the basement floor will not be covered by any policy.  This problem must be handled through proper landscaping outside and continued maintenance of the basement‘s interior wall.

Your home is one of your most important assets so protect it wisely. It is our recommendation that you add the Sewer Back Up coverage as soon as possible. Feel free to give us a call to discuss the necessity of a flood policy.

Water Flood Damage

The only way to be covered for flood damage is to purchase a separate flood policy. Homeowners policies specifically exclude flood damage. Sewer Backup Coverage will not apply to flood damage as well.

Flooding is defined by the National Flood Insurance Program as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres or normally dry land area or two or more properties (one of which is your policy) from: Overflow of inland waters, unusual and rapid accumulation of runoff surface waters from any source and mudflows.

In other words, everyone lives in a potential flood zone.

If you live in a low to moderate risk area and are eligible for a Preferred Risk Policy, your flood insurance policy will normally cost approximately $300 to $400 per year.

Your basement structure, essential equipment and other basic items that are normally located in the basement are covered; however personal belongings stored in the basement are not covered.

What is and is not covered by flood insurance infographic

Flood Facts from the National Flood Insurance Program

  • It takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it’s important to buy coverage before the flood waters start to rise.
  • Your home has a 26% chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30 year mortgage as opposed to a 9% chance of fire.
  • In the year 2006, one third of all claims paid by the NFIP were for policies in low-risk communities.

Visit www.Floodsmart.gov for more information about your specific exposure.

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