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Is water backup coverage worth it?

This affordable add-on can provide valuable coverage from water damage inside your home.

Any kind of leak in your home can lead to serious damage done and high repair costs. Adding water backup coverage to your home insurance policy could provide valuable and affordable coverage that your standard policy doesn't offer.

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What is water backup coverage?

Water backup coverage is an optional part of your home insurance policy that covers you for most types of water damage that could happen in your home.

Water backup coverage expands your coverage to any internal water damage that wouldn’t be covered with a standard policy. Most standard home insurance policies without this add-on coverage exclude internal water damage from:

  • Flooding, storm surges or waves from any type of body of water
  • Water that backs up through sewers or drains
  • Water that overflows from a sump pump or similar equipment
  • Underground water which comes into your home

How does water backup coverage work?

Adding water backup coverage to your home insurance policy gives you coverage for damage from water that’s backed up from sewers, drains, sump pumps or underground. These situations include water mishaps like these:

  • Your septic tank overflows and sewage water floods your garage.
  • Your sump pump fails and floods your basement.
  • Your water system malfunctions and sprays water on your carpet.
  • Your shower drain clogs and floods your bathroom.

How much coverage can I get?

The minimum amount of coverage you can typically buy is $5,000. You can increase this amount in increments of $5,000 up to $25,000 in coverage. Some insurance companies will offer up to $50,000 or $100,000 in coverage, with premier home programs offering a coverage amount that’s equal to the limit you carry on your home.

The base deductible is usually $500 but can also be changed to $1,000 or higher.

Is water backup coverage worth it?

Most of the time, yes water backup coverage is worth it. You can get $25,000 in water backup coverage for less than $200 a year. Coverage typically starts between $30 and $80 for $5,000 in coverage per year.

Water backup coverage is particularly important for people with basements. Sump pump failures can cost over $10,000 to fix, especially when the water is in a furnished basement.

For single story homes without a basement, this coverage isn’t quite as important. However, it still provides coverage if you have backed up sewage or water lines. These claims can cause significant damage to your home, so paying an extra $50 for $5,000 in coverage might be worth it.

What’s not covered by water backup coverage?

The main thing that’s not covered by water backup coverage is external flooding. If water comes from outside, it’s not covered, but if it comes from inside your house, it’s covered.

For example, if heavy rains seep through your window, water backup wouldn’t cover replacing drywall. But if heavy rains overload your sump pump and it fails, then you may have coverage. If you want coverage from flooding, you’ll want to consider a flood insurance policy.

The other thing that’s not covered by water backup coverage is the actual sump pump or equipment itself unless you have equipment breakdown coverage. Water backup coverage doesn’t include the actual equipment that’s supposed to keep water out.

Bottom line

Water backup coverage is an add-on that almost every home insurance company offers. It provides coverage for water damage to your home and contents if you have a backed up sewage line or your sump pump fails. It’s relatively inexpensive considering the value it provides, though it doesn’t cover flooding or the water retention equipment itself.

To see which companies offer water backup coverage, compare home insurance companies to find one that best suits your needs.

Common questions about water backup coverage

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