However, there are several common causes of water damage that aren't covered by homeowners insurance. Flooding, surface water, water that seeps up from the ground, and water that backs up threw sewers or drains or overflows through a sump pump are all excluded from coverage. To supplement this gap in coverage, many insurance companies offer separate flood insurance to cover flood disasters, but what about more common household issues like sewer and sump pump backups?
Luckily, most insurance companies offer additional coverage for that too—commonly referred to as water backup coverage.
How does water backup coverage work?
Water backup coverage, also called sewer or sump pump backup coverage, is one of the more popular and useful homeowner's insurance endorsements that you can add to your policy. It covers your home and personal property in the event of water damage from a sump pump, drain, or sewer overflow or backup. Since sewer backups are such a common and pesky problem, just about every company offers water backup coverage, a fairly high-value add-on that costs as little as $30 a year on top of your standard coverage.
Coverage amounts and availability of this endorsement vary from company to company and state to state, but companies generally offer anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000 in water backup protection. When deciding on coverage amounts, factor in what it’d cost to replace everything that’s at risk of being damaged in a worst-case drain backup or sump pump overflow scenario. Add up the cost of replacing your flooring, the value of your furniture or personal belongings, and anything else that’d be at risk of damage in the event of a sewer or drain backup.
Water backup coverage costs anywhere from $30-70 annually for $5,000 of coverage, and $25-35 for each additional $5,000 in coverage that you add to your policy. You typically have to pay a deductible in order to receive a claim payout for a sewer backup claim. Depending on your insurer, sewer backup deductibles may be equal to your standard deductible amount ($1,000, for instance) or they may offer a special water backup deductible as low as $250.