Five Reasons To Add Water And Sewer Backup Coverage To Your Homeowner Policy
And Six Ways To Help Prevent Backups
The standard homeowner policy does not cover sewer and water backup. Sewer and water backup is a reversal in the normal flow path of the fluid due to an obstruction. Basically, the water is forced to go backward due to an obstruction blocking its path. The flow can be restricted due to several reasons including a collapsed drain or blockage in a pipe such as tree roots. Sewer backup has been a growing problem of late due to growing populations and aging waste disposal issues in many areas.
The cost of a water/sewer backup endorsement to your homeowner policy is very inexpensive, ranging on average between $25.00 and $75.00 annually depending on your coverage limits and deductible. Annual deductibles generally start at $250.00 and can increase from that point up. Coverage limits range from as little as $2,500.00 up to, in some cases, $25,000.00.
Groundwater flooding issues are not included in water/sewer backup coverage. Groundwater damage is covered under flood insurance and requires a separate policy.
Below are 5 reasons to add this coverage to your homeowner policy.
1. Water/sewer backup can happen to anyone. In this instance, backup is caused by something obstructing the pipes. Unlike groundwater issues where the likelihood of a problem is increased due to lower ground levels, the potential of backup damage is not dependent on your elevation.
2. In most cases, backup coverage is not included in your homeowner policy and requires a separate endorsement. It’s best to call your agent to discover if you have this coverage and determine if the coverage is sufficient in your case.
3. The likelihood of a backup increases with the age of the pipes. Also, as trees continue to grow and roots spread around your pipes the possibility of an obstruction grows.
4. The coverage cost is minimal when one considers the cost of repairing the damage to your home. If you have a finished basement the associated costs of repair can be significant.
5. This coverage qualifies you for loss of use in the event the home is uninhabitable. It is very unlikely that your home would be uninhabitable due to a backup issue. However, if your furnace were disabled due to water backup and the temperature outside was below freezing this coverage may apply in this situation.
Many homeowners do not realize that the maintenance and repair of the pipeline between their home and the city sewer main is their responsibility. Below are six tips to help avoid water backup.
1. Never pour grease or cooking oil down your drains.
2. In order to keep your sump pump running have a battery backup for times the power is out
or have water powered sump pump.
3. To prevent backups, install a backwater prevention valve.
4. Have your drain line checked and/or cleaned on a regular basis.
5. Flush bathroom tissue only in your toilets (other paper products can be problematic)
6. Refrain from planting large root plants, such as trees, close to your drain line.
Call your F. A. Peabody agent for a quote or to find out about your coverage if you have questions at 1.877.960.1457.