Things you should know about water backup

1. It doesn’t come standard
Typically, it needs to be added by endorsement by your agent. At St. Joseph Agency, we typically add it to homeowners policies and have seen many claims resulting from water backup. The last thing you want is a basement full of water and no money to cover the cleanup. Time is also a factor. If the standing water is not taken care of immediately, it can do more damage to your home.

2. It’s relatively cheap to add
It can be anywhere from $50 to $250 for $5,000 – $15,000 of coverage. Repairs can be expensive when you factor in the costs of these claims. Whether the sump pump goes out, or the line is blocked, a lot can be lost and need to be replaced. With a 1,000 square foot basement with average furniture, the claim can be upwards of $10,000.

3. Water backup is common
Everyone has a potential of having a water backup problem. It is one of the most common claims in Indiana for homeowners, second to wind and hail. According to our insurance companies, it accounts for 25% of all claims made on homeowners policies.

4. Water backup is different than a flood
Water backup will only extend coverage for losses arising from water originating from inside the structure from pipes or pumps. A flood typically happens when standing water builds from outside the home and seeps in through the walls of the basement. A separate flood policy would need to be added to extend coverage for this type of loss.

How to best prevent water backups

-Don’t pour grease down the drain.
-Only flush toilet paper. Anything else can cause blockage.
-Consider updating your plumbing system. Minerals from water can cause buildup in pipes. If the system is old, it makes the risk more likely to occur.
-Have a plumber inspect your sump pump annually. You should install a backup battery and sump (or water-powered sump) should either fail.
-Make sure you have a backwater prevention valve. Some older houses may not have these.