Understanding Water Coverage - What's Covered?

Posted in Home Insurance

Understanding Water Coverage - What's Covered?

Water coverage has changed significantly over the past few years, and there are some updates you may not be aware of.

It's important to know where the water came from, and how it entered the home.

All water damage is not created equal in the eyes (underwriting rules) of the insurance company.  To outline this, the companies have created names for each type of water damage.

Below is a brief outline of each of those types.

  • Sewer back up - this refers to water (clean or dirty) that backs up and flows into your home from places it normally goes down. Think drains and spouts. This can  come from the municipal sewer system, private septic system, or sump pump failure.
  • Ground water - this is water that enters your home accidentally and suddenly through a basement wall, foundation, or floor. This kind of water damage used to not be covered by many policies.
  • Overland water- this refers to the overflow of a lake or river, heavy rain or rapid snow melt that enters the home AT OR ABOVE ground level. Think water after a heavy rain that pooled in the backyard and came in through a basement window.
  • Water + Sewer lines - this refers to coverage to repair or replace a leak, break, tear, or collapse of water/sewer line. The subsequent damage of this break or collapse could fall under sewer back up coverage or ground water depending on how the water enters the home.
  • Surface water- some companies use this term which refers to water or natural precipitation (rain or snow) that is temporarily over the surface of the ground, NOT caused by flood.
  • Flood - the rise, breaking out, or overflow of any body of water.

When reviewing your coverage with your agent or broker, be sure to ask about these specific coverages so you are aware of the coverage you have, what you might not be covered for, and if there is an option to purchase any of these coverages.


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