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What is Water Back Up Coverage?

By October 2, 2014May 21st, 2020Insurance


Water Back-Up and Sump Overflow coverage protects against water intrusion in the event that public utilities and/or septic systems become inundated and reverse course.  This type of coverage became very common after the 2004 hurricane season during which storm drains could not handle the amount of rain water inundating them. Do you know how your homeowners insurance would respond?

A standard homeowners policy provides coverage for accidental discharge or overflow of water from plumbing, heating, and air conditioning as long as it originates on the premises.  For example, if your shower drain clogs and causes water to overflow, you would have coverage for the resulting damage.

What if your back up originates off premises? This coverage is separate from flood insurance and most homeowner insurance already covers water damage from roof leaks/burst pipes/certain other causes.  Simply put, if your toilets and/or sinks began overflowing into your home due to reasons outside of the home (not a hairball in the P-Trap or tree roots in the main drain) this coverage may apply. 

If you are not sure if your policy has Water Back-Up and Sump Overflow coverage call your agent.  The water back up endorsement removes the exclusion for overflow and discharge from sump pumps. It also expands coverage to include back ups that originate off premises. The endorsement generally includes several limit options ranging from $5,000 up to the full dwelling amount. 

Be sure to confirm with your agent that your water back up endorsement provides coverage for both building and contents.  

It’s important to distinguish that the water back up endorsement is NOT flood insurance. A flood, as defined by FEMA, is a general or temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or two or more properties. In order to obtain flood coverage, you must purchase a flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program.