Does home insurance cover water back-up and sump overflow?

While homeowners insurance protects you against some forms of unexpected water damage, water back-ups and sump pump overflows are usually not covered. You may purchase optional water back-up coverage that may pay for damages in the case of sewage back-up or a malfunctioning sump pump.

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Do I need water back-up coverage?

Any water that backs up from sewers, drains, or overflows from a sump pump typically isn't protected under standard homeowners insurance policies. So, even if you have a separate flood insurance policy, chances are your water back-up issue won't be covered. Water back-up coverage is an optional add-on to your homeowners policy that may cover sewage back-up and sump pump overflow. Water back-up coverage may pay to repair damaged personal property, such as furniture and electronics, as well as structural things like floors and walls, up to your coverage limits and minus your deductible.

Consider water back-up and sump pump coverage if you live in a wet climate that gets a lot of storms or if power outages are common. Losing power can cause a sump pump to stop working and lead to excess water pooling around the foundation of your house, increasing the likelihood of a back-up. Note that while water back-up coverage may protect you from damages caused by a broken sump pump, it won't cover the cost to replace the sump pump unit itself. You'll need to handle the cost of replacing or repairing it.

What can cause water back-up and sump pump overflow?

Water can back-up into a house for many reasons, including a clogged drain, old pipes, heavy rain, large amounts of snow thawing, or tree roots interfering with the plumbing. A common way to try and combat water back-up is with a sump pump.

A sump pump collects excess water from around your home's foundation and pumps it away from the house. Sump pumps often come in handy, especially if you live in a wet climate. But they're not perfect. Sump pump malfunctions can sometimes occur, leading to an overflow and a back-up of water, that can damage floors and carpets and is the exact problem the pump is supposed to prevent.

While certain types of water damage are protected under standard homeowners insurance policies, water back-up and sump pump overflows are usually excluded from coverage. Learn if homeowners insurance covers basement floods.

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