Did you know?

Damages resulting from water backing up through a sump pump, sewer, or drain are not covered by a basic Michigan home or condo insurance policy.

Insurance companies offer water backup coverage, but it’s an optional coverage you add on to your policy – either as a standalone rider or, in some instances, a limited amount of coverage may be included as part of a package of additional coverage benefits.

While coverage isn’t automatically included water backups are one of the most common types of losses that Michigan home and condo owners experience.

One of the reasons Michigan homeowners frequently suffer water backup losses is many home and condos have basements below ground level that are more likely to experience this type of damage. These homes often rely on sump pumps to divert water runoff, whether from heavy rains or snowmelt, away from the house.

The problem is things can, and often do, go wrong – the volume of water can overwhelm the system, a power outage or mechanical failure can result in a pump failing, blockages when a service line is clogged or frozen – any number of situations can result in water backing up into a home potentially causing thousands of dollars of damages.

Recognizing the frequency of these types of losses many insurance agents include a level of water backup coverage whenever they’re quoting or writing a home or condo insurance policy. At our agency, unless a home or condo owner specifies otherwise, we include at least $5,000 of water backup coverage with every policy.

The dilemma is even $5,000 may not be enough for many homeowners. A water backup that results in even a few inches of standing water in a finished room or basement can add up to significant expenses between the cost of removing the water, cleaning up, and repairing or replacing damaged flooring, walls, appliances, furnishings, and personal belongings.

The cost to add or increase water backup coverage is modest – $5,000 of coverage typically costs about $60 a year with the cost per thousand dollars of coverage decreasing at higher coverage limits.

If a water backup in your home or condo could cause significant damage you would be well advised to confirm you have water backup coverage and your coverage limits are adequate to protect your home.

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