What Is Water Backup Coverage for Your Basement?

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When it comes time to purchase homeowners insurance for your house, apartment, or condo, you might find yourself a little bit overwhelmed by the number of options and add-ons to choose from. With some of those options, the term itself makes it very clear what’s being covered and it’s easy to decide whether or not it’s right for you. But can feel a bit more vague, and it’s a little harder to determine if the coverage is needed for you and your home.
That’s often the case with water backup coverage, which is sometimes referred to in policies as sewer backup coverage or sump pump backup coverage. None of those terms are particularly insightful, so you might find yourself wondering whether or not you need this coverage.
Here’s everything you need to know about water backup coverage so you can decide if it’s right for you.

What is water backup coverage?

A lot of water-related issues are covered by your standard homeowners insurance plan. Issues like burst pipes and leaking water heaters are usually covered by your policy. So in many cases, if you’re having an issue with water, you’re covered.
However, a lot of water-related problems aren’t covered by your plan. One of them is sewage backup, which is exactly as pleasant as it sounds. Sewage backup is when liquid that gets backed up through a drain or sewer overflows through a sump pump and causes water damage. It’s a fairly common problem, but water backup coverage takes care of it.

What does water backup coverage cover?

Water backup coverage covers water damage repairs for a sewage or sump pump backup, as well as repairs for the plumbing system. Usually water backup coverage covers between $5,000 and $25,000 worth of damage, depending on what plan you opt for.
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Many of the same types of water damage that aren’t covered by a standard homeowners insurance plan are also not covered by water backup coverage. Flood damage, for instance, is not covered by water backup coverage, so you’ll need a separate type of coverage for that. Water backup coverage also doesn’t cover damage from surface water, or ground water that creeps into your house.
If the water isn’t coming from your sewage backing up, your drains backing up, or your sump pump overflowing, then it is not covered by water backup coverage.

Is water backup coverage included on every homeowners insurance policy?

No. Just about every homeowners insurance company offers water backup coverage, but you still need to choose it as an add-on to your policy. It’s an option that you need to choose, or else you won’t have this coverage.

How much does water backup coverage cost?

It depends on your homeowners insurance company. In general, water backup coverage costs between $25 and $250 per year, depending on how much coverage you’re opting for.
That’s certainly not free, but it’s a pretty reasonable price to pay for coverage of something that can be pricey and common.

Should I get water backup coverage?

Every insurance decision needs to be made by the policyholder, because every situation is different. However, having a backup in your sewage line, a backup in your drain, or an overflowing sump pump is not a rare home issue, and water backup coverage can make handling the issue dramatically more affordable.
Water backup coverage is an important component of a homeowners insurance policy, and one every homeowner should at least consider.

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