This morning my neighbors had an incident with sewer backup in their home and it reminded me of a common situation many of my personal and commerical clients face. What drew my attention was the witty catch-line on the back of the plumber’s vehicle (see photo) – “In our business, a flush beats a full house.” Well, I guess that goes without saying.
While this week’s deluge has caused extensive water damage to some homes and businesses, flooding can also cause sewage from sanitary sewer lines to back up into houses through drain pipes. These backups not only cause damage that is difficult and expensive to repair, but also create health hazards.
Most homeowner and business insurance policies do not cover sewer backup unless specific sewer backup coverage is added to the policy. Obtaining an insurance rider or endorsement on a homeowners or business policy would cover such damage if it occurs.
Sewer backup coverage is available from most insurers for a nominal cost – usually $35-$80 on an annual insurance policy. But as I review policies for many potential clients, I find they are without this important coverage. In my agency, we include water and sewer backup coverage on all our quotes. Many homeowners and businessowners go with the cheapest quote they recieve not realizing their policies lack important coverage like this. In the end, the property owner ends up paying hefty repair bills to damage caused by the water and sewage that backs up into their homes and businesses.
I encourage everyone to check with their trusted insurance advisor to make sure their policies adequately cover them for this icky and unfortunate loss. Yuck!
Jon Jepsen, CIC