February 8, 2022

Water Backup Coverage: Do I Need It?

Written by:
Bob Phillips
Reviewed by:

Standard homeowners insurance policies will typically cover sudden and accidental water damage that originates in a home. This includes water damage resulting from a burst pipe, broken HVAC, or any appliances or systems that would be covered. Additionally, wind-driven rain entering your home through an exposed opening (such as a hole in the home’s roof) that was caused by an insured peril would also be covered.

However, several causes of water damage commonly occur that are not covered by homeowners insurance or flood insurance, including water that backs up through sewers or drains, or overflows through a sump pump. These are excluded from coverage.

Fortunately, many high-value home insurers offer additional coverage that does protect against water backups, commonly referred to as water backup coverage or sewer and drain backup coverage. 

Let’s look at three commonly asked questions about water or sewer backup coverage: What does it cover? What doesn’t it cover? Do I need it?

What Does Water Backup Insurance Cover? 

A standard water backup coverage endorsement reimburses the insured for water damage or structural damage to your home or personal property if it is discharged or overflows from:

  • A sewer or drain
  • A sump, sump pump, or related equipment, even if the overflow occurred because of mechanical issues
  • Any system which was designed to remove subsurface water from the foundation area
  • Heavy rain incursion
  • Sudden and accidental damage to a septic tank
  • Loss of use if you cannot live in your home after a water backup problem
  • Water backup problems associated with a French drain


What Does Water Backup Insurance Not Cover?

Not typically covered by water backup insurance are:

  • Sump pump failure due to poor maintenance
  • Negligence, such as not turning on the sump pump and the basement floods
  • Water damage from floods (requires a separate policy)
  • Burst pipes (covered by homeowners insurance)
  • Swimming pool overflow
  • Wear and tear of equipment or pipes
  • Water heater leaks


Do You Need Water Backup Insurance? 

You are more vulnerable to water backups if you live in:

  • A low elevation area
  • A flood zone
  • An older home 

Your Kelly Klee coverage advisor can help determine if you need water backup insurance. 

If you ultimately decide that you’d like to have water backup coverage, you’ll need to consider what it would cost to replace everything at risk of being damaged in a worst-case drain or sewer backup. We’ll work together with you to ensure that you have proper coverage.

Text Link