The abnormally heavy rains that have occurred recently in our area have brought attention to the exposures of WATER DAMAGE 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 nasty experience. While they occur infrequently, they can be very costly. Often there is substantial damage to personal property stored in basements and to well furnished social rooms that are below ground level. The drains through which the backup occurs are found in these areas.
Homeowners policies, in general 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 and coverage provided by adding a policy rider called Water Backup and Sump Pump Discharge Overflow. The coverage provides a specific amount of coverage usually $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 the coverage and the costs will vary. Please call for an individual explanation of the coverage and the price.
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. Protect it wisely. It is our recommendation that you add the Sewer Back Up coverage as soon as possible. Please 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.
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.
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 an other basic items are normally located in the basement are covered; however personal belongings stored in the basement are not covered.
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.