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I have water in the basement, am I covered?

You might be coveredBack-up Sewer & Drain even if you don’t have flood coverage


Nearly all homeowners policies exclude coverage from water damage, but they allow you to add some water damage coverage to your policy through a coverage called Back-up of Sewer and Drain coverage.  So you might have coverage if your basement is full of water.

The provisions vary from company to company but the exclusion usually reads:

SECTION I – PROPERTY EXCLUSIONS, that water damage is excluded if caused by:

Water or water-borne material which backs up through sewers or drains or which overflows or is discharged from a sump, sump pump or related equipment.

This exclusion is talking about “overflows” of water from sewers (like out of toilet bowls) and “backups” from drains (like floor drains and sinks).   The source of the water or sewage may be “off premises” from a plugged public sewer system or caused by water inside the home that is left on or stuck on which overwhelms a drain system that is plugged or restricted

But here is the GOOD NEWS!

If you have a coverage called Back-up of Sewer and Drain you might have coverage for water in the basement.  Here is what this coverage is:

Water Back-Up of Sewers or Drains—Additional Limit
We cover risk of accidental direct physical loss to covered property described under Coverage A—Dwelling, Coverage B—Other Structures, and Coverage C—Personal Property caused by:

(1) water from outside the plumbing system that enters through sewers or drains; and (2) water which enters into and overflows from within a sump pump, sump pump well or any other system designed to remove subsurface water which is drained from the foundation area.

Coverage does not apply to any loss caused by negligence of any insured. The most we will pay in any one loss is the limit of insurance shown in the Declarations under Water Back-Up of Sewers or Drains—Additional Limit. This additional coverage is excess over any other valid and collectible insurance provided by us. No deductible applies to this additional coverage. This is not an additional amount of insurance. All other policy terms and conditions apply.

How do I find out if I have Back-up of Sewer and Drain coverage?

It will be listed on your homeowners policy on the declarations page (the page that shows the coverage limits for your home).  It usually can be found in the “Endorsement Section”.

If you still can’t find it, call me Jason D Cass at JDC Insurance Group and I will help you find it.