Imagine it's 3:00 AM and you awaken to hear a splashing sound coming from your finished basement. You jump out of bed and rush to the stairs. From the top of the stairs, you can see laundry baskets floating. By now, the water is only a few inches deep, but it's brown and murky, and you're horrified. You put on your rain boots and make your way to the utility room. It's then you realize; your sump pump isn't working. The water is pouring in now and dangerously close to reaching the water heater and furnace.
You spend the next few days cleaning up the mess. You phone your insurance agent, only to find out your policy doesn't cover sewer and drain backup damage.
The Civil Engineering Research Foundation indicates that the rate of sewer backup incidents is increasing at a rate of 3 percent a year. Sewer and drain backup coverage is not included in most standard homeowners' policies, nor is it covered by standard flood insurance.
Homeowners often time assume they don't need additional coverage for water damage, in part because they don't think they have any concern for water damage or have never filed a drain backup claim before. Many of these circumstances, arise, however, due to no fault of the homeowner and can happen to anyone, anytime. Here are four scenarios that warrant having sewer and drain backup coverage.
Sump Pump Failure
It may be a good idea to keep a backup sump pump handy for immediate use in an emergency. To protect your possessions and cover costs associated with repairs to appliances, flooring or drywall, you will need to have sewer and drain backup coverage.
City Sewer Pipe Failure
Unfortunately, you have no control over the condition or maintenance of your city's sewer system. Failures can happen due to age or corrosion and may result in a basement full of water.
If you have mature trees on your street, chances are good you may also experience root growth damage to the sewer system. Unexpected, sewage can become blocked and back up substantially in the home. While plumbing experts can help you with preventative maintenance for tree roots, it's best to be protected with proper insurance to make sure you have coverage.
If you experience significant spring rains or expect record rainfall, be prepared for drain backups. Most municipalities have aging pipe systems that sometimes can't handle the excessive water. In these cases, because street water drains are full, water naturally searches for the lowest point to escape. It can mean a slow seep or gushing water in your basement.
Sewer backups can be especially dangerous. Water can reach electrical components. Sewer water is full of contaminants and bacteria. Replacement of your flooring, personal items, appliances or electronics can be costly. Worst case scenario, your water damage is severe enough for you to determine your home is unlivable while in repair. Don't wait until you're in your rain boots, standing in water to make the call. Protect your home, protect your family, and ask us today about adding a sewer drain and backup addendum to your homeowners' policy.