Flood Insurance and Water Backup Coverage: What’s the Difference?
Spring and Summer in Ozaukee County is a happy time for so many home and business owners who are ready for warmer weather, and sunshine! We Midwesterners look forward to that first day on or in the water. So what happens when that water we love so much finds its way into our basements? How can property owners recover losses to their property from flood waters?
Water/Sewer Backup Coverage
Most homeowners insurance policies come with an optional endorsement for water backup and sump discharge/overflow which will cover losses, up to a certain limit, caused by the backup of water or waterborne materials through a sewer or through a drain. It will also cover water or waterborne material that overflows from a sump, even if the backup of water is due to the mechanical breakdown of the sump pump. Coverage includes damage to property but excludes the sump pump and any related equipment that has broken down. Contact your insurance professional for more information about this coverage and its limits.
The endorsement does not cover damages caused by a flood. A separate flood insurance policy needs to be obtained to cover losses due to flooding.
What is a flood? The dictionary defines “flood” as rising and overflowing of water onto normally dry land. For the purpose of insurance, “rising” is the key to distinguish flood damage from water damage. Basically damage that has occurred from water that has been on the ground at some point before causing damage to your home is considered flood damage, and would not be covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
Flooding can happen anywhere; even if your home is not in a flood plain. Flood insurance is available to all homeowners who live in a participating community, which must enforce floodplain ordinances and building requirements that meet or exceed FEMA guidelines. If your community does not participate in the NFIP, you can make a request for it to do so through your mayor, city council or county commissioner’s office. Contact your insurance professional for more information about this coverage and its limits.
In the event you do sustain property damage from any type of flooding, SERVPRO of Ozaukee County is here to help. We are available 24/7/365 at 262-242-8888 for your emergencies.