What is the difference between Flood Insurance and Water Back up?
Are you Protected?
Flood Insurance is rarely included in a homeowners insurance policy and if it is, it is very expensive. Here is a typical example in the capital district of NY: rain falls quickly and heavily and the ground is simply not able to absorb the water.
Once it starts to accumulate it travels along the ground and can drain in to lower levels of the house, such as a basement. Another example is a creek running through your yard and overflows and the water enters your basement through the windows, the sump pump cannot handle the water so the basement fills up.
This is when most people ask “why doesn’t water back up cover this?” The answer to that can get sticky, but typically any damage caused by water that travels along the surface or across the ground would be considered flood. Damage due to anything from underneath traveling upward would be considered water back up.
Most of our clients aren’t aware that water back up coverage is not automatically included in their homeowners insurance coverage. What they also don’t typically know is you can add this coverage for a very minimal cost.
What IS covered by water back up? A standard definition is: water or sewage that backs up through sewers and/or drains, or which enters or overflows from within a sump pump/sump pump well or any system designed to remove subsurface water which is drained from the foundation area.
Here are a few examples:
· the floor drain in the basement gets clogged and water backs up through the drain in to the basement floor
· That same drain mentioned above gets clogged, but instead of water, raw sewage backs up through the drain onto the basement floor
· Your sump pump cannot keep up with the amount of rain coming down and the excess water backs up onto the floor/basement
All of the situations mentioned above create very expensive headaches, most likely to the tune of thousands of dollars. Water backup from sewers, drains or failure of a sump pump can be very damaging.
To simply add this reasonably priced coverage to your homeowners insurance can protect you against a potentially nightmarish situation that is not cheap.
This coverage would take care of the cost of the extraction of the excess water, the cost to dry out your personal property and/or the structure itself and circumstantially the cost to replace damaged personal property as well as temporary housing if necessary. Flooring and Drywall are 2 of the biggest items replaced, especially with finished basements.
None of these circumstances are ideal and no one ever wants to find out they are not protected when it is too late, water damage is the second biggest loss for homeowners, fire being the first. The average cost for $5,000-$10,000 in coverage is $50-$150 a year, much cheaper then trying to figure out where you are coming up with thousands of dollars unexpectedly.
Why risk it?? Call us today to review your policy and let us make sure you are protected!
By Christine Springer