Backed up sewers can cause thousands of dollars in damage to walls, floors, electrical systems and personal property. Water backup coverage is not typically covered on a homeowner’s policy unless it is added. Even policies that automatically include this coverage usually have lower limits than what may be recommended for your home.
Due to the age and increased use of sanitary sewer mains, water backup claims happen more often than they did thirty years ago, putting everyone at a greater risk for an expensive clean-up job. Other causes of backups include higher volume of storm waters, tree roots and blockages.
Even homes with a back-up sump pump can experience problems if there is a power outage. Also, water backup claims can happen to any home regardless of the type of foundation. Toilets and drains can get backed up and overflow above ground level as well as below.
If you have a basement, you are at a higher risk of loss. Calculate replacing every item in your basement, brand new. Consider any appliances you may have in the basement such as a furnace, water heater, or washer and dryer. Factor in the cost of water and sewage extraction and dry-out which can cost at least $5,000. It is recommended that you choose a water backup limit that would cover everything in the lower levels of the home in the event of a large claim.
Protect yourself from a stinky and expensive problem by asking your agent about adding or increasing your water backup coverage on your homeowner’s policy.