What Does My Insurance Cover When It Comes To Water Loss?
Are you covered for water loss or damage to your property? This is a very complex question. Once upon a time all the rage was fire protection, however, the insurance world has realized water claims are now more common than any other claim on a homeowners policy. So are you covered for water damage to your property? You better talk to your insurance broker, they can answer!
Water loss or damage comes in various forms; burst pipes, overflow of a household appliance, sewer back up, sump pump failure and overland water to name a few. The first couple are fairly common and easily understood. However sewer back up, sump pump failure and overland water are less clear.
Sewer Back Up
Sewer back up/sump pump failure is “The sudden and accidental backing up or escape of water or sewage within your dwelling or detached private structure through a: sewer on your premise; septic system on your premise; or sump pump located within your dwelling or detached private structures”, according to one insurer.
Overland water is “Direct loss or damage by “surface water” entering the insured location as a result of the sudden accumulation of rain, spring run-off, or overflow form freshwater lakes and/or rivers”, according to one insurer.
“According to one insurer” is a key point. All insurance companies offer different wordings and coverage for these types of losses, which is why understanding what you have coverage for can be so complicated.
Most companies have what is called an anti-concurrent clause. This means if you have a water loss that is both sewer back/sump failure and overland water at the same time (which can very easily happen) you aren’t covered for either unless you have both! Clear as can be right? Some companies will limit the amount of coverage you have for sewer backup/sump pump failure and/or overland water! This will show on the coverage sheet of your paperwork from the insurance company.
Lets take a look at how certain insurance companies differ from others when it comes to water loss:
Aviva will allow you to purchase one coverage without the other.
Travelers have combined the coverages together.
Gore has only 2 zones (out of a possible 6) that can qualify for overland water coverage. If your property falls outside of that zone you cannot purchase overland water through Gore.
Optimum has 18 zones and you can purchase the coverage in every zone except zone 18.
Intact requires you to buy coverage for ground water (ground water is water that enters the basement from water found underground in the soil) in addition to their overland water and sewer back up coverage.
Economical includes ground water in their overland water coverage.
Cost can vary between insurers and will depend on how they categorize your location. For example, cost for overland water coverage could be a little as $40 and as much as several hundreds of dollars.
Don’t let water damage find YOU at a loss. You need an insurance broker to break it down!