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The Royersford Insurance Agent

How to Get Coverage for Water Damage to Your Basement

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Here’s a basic recap on how most Homeowners Insurance policies cover weather related water damage to the interior of your home.

Damage caused by water that enters the house through the sky (ie. walls, windows, roof) is covered.  Damage caused by water that enters the house through the ground (ie. surface water, backup of sewer or drain, sump pump overflow) is NOT covered.

 

water basement

Let’s hope you never have to deal with this!

 

Let’s play a game.  With a basic homeowners policy, would the following claims be covered?

 

Q1. Water that overflows from a clogged gutter falls into the basement window well and enters the house.  Covered or Not Covered? (This happened to me!)

A2. Not Covered!  Although the water came from the sky, it entered the house as surface water.  There would be No Coverage for this claim.  

 

Q2.  Wind driven rain enters the house through an open window and damages furniture as well the hardwood floor.  Covered or Not Covered?

A2. Both the furniture (Personal Property) and the flooring would be Covered.  (Some policies may not cover the personal property.  Check with your agent).

 

Q3.  A sump pump in your basement malfunctions allowing water to overflow and flood the basement.

A3.  Not Covered.  A basic Homeowners policy would not cover this claim.

 

There is NOT an endorsement that would cover the damage caused by the scenario in the first question.  Surface water that enters a basement whether it be from a window, the foundation or any other means is Not Covered.  There is, however, a way to cover the damage caused by a sump pump malfunction.

 

Every insurance company offers a sump pump/water backup endorsement.  This is a no-brainer, you should add this coverage to your policy.  It will cost at least $5,000 just to remove the water from the basement and dry it out.  You can add additional coverage to cover the cost of replacing the damage that was caused by the water.

 

How Much Coverage Do You Need?

You know you need at least $5,000 to dry out the basement.  Is the basement finished?  How much did it cost to finish it?  If it cost $7,500 then add an additional $10,000 to the first $5,000.  So $15,000 total.

Your basement is unfinished?  I would still recommend $10,000.  The cost to go from $5,000 to $10,000 is not much and could prove to be very beneficial.

 

What’s the Cost of the Endorsement?

It depends on the carrier, ask your agent for an official quote.  I reviewed a Homeowners policy for one of our client’s and noticed he did not have the endorsement.  For coverage up to $10,000  the cost for this endorsement is $60 for the year.  That’s just one example, your’s could be more or less.

 

Remember, if you don’t have the endorsement, there would be NO Coverage for damage caused by a sump pump malfunction.

 

Have you ever had a flooded basement or any other claim caused by rain?

 

My name is Keith Laskey. I write about insurance, youth development and healthy living. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830, for any insurance related questions or concerns.  You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website.  Make Today a Great Day!

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