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Where Did All This Water Come From?: Why This Question Matters

Home Insurance

By Joanne Lemna | July 27, 2017

The last thing anyone wants to see is their home flooded with water. Damage a messy cleanup and residual problems that can creep up afterwards are all part of the nightmare scenario that flooding can bring. This is where your homeowner’s insurance comes into play. It’s so important that you understand exactly what your policy covers what type of water issue created this mess and what you need to know when filing a claim.

There are basically three types of water exposures that could be covered under your insurance policy: sewer backup overland water and groundwater . These are separate coverages though normally offered together in a package. Generally you must have sewer backup coverage if you also want overland water or groundwater coverage. You can opt however to not have groundwater overland or any water damage coverage at all. While this will lower your premium it means you will not be insured for damages caused by water.

The source of the flooding (and thus the cause of the damage to your home) is going to be important. Let’s say for instance your homeowner’s policy includes sewage backup but it does not include overland water. You experience flooding due to a flash flood and water pours into your basement. Since the cause of the water problem was actually a result of flooding due to surface water you would not be covered in such a scenario.

Here is a breakdown of the various coverages available:

Sewer Backup Coverage

As its name suggests this is what can occur when sewers or drain lines back up causing sinks showers and toilets to then pour grey water into your home. This obviously is going to result in a bit of a mess and could certainly be damaging to floors plumbing and anything else that comes across its path.

Overland Water Coverage

This represent your more traditional notion of water damage: flooding. More specifically it is the overflow of rivers and other bodies of water as well as caused by heavy rainfalls that accumulates water. This is basically surface level water that can infiltrate or wreak havoc on your house.

Ground Water Coverage

Refers to the sudden and accidental infiltration of water into your basement or foundation . The keywords in this type of coverage are ‘sudden’ and ‘accidental’. If you have seepage through cracks in your foundation this will not be covered.

This is why it is so important to discuss your options with yourinsurance broker. They can explain each type of coverage to you and help you choose which is best. Your broker will also discuss the various scenarios that can occur and how your policy would come into play. You’ll also want to discuss the limits of your policy so that you understand the extent of damage that will be covered and how much you’ll be on the hook for (your deductible plus anything over the limit of the policy).

While this may sound confusing an insurance professional will be able to walk you through it show you different circumstances and help you design a policy that makes sense for your home.

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