Water Damage, Flood Damage, Sewer Backup - Are You Covered?

Water Damage, Flood Damage, Sewer Backup - Are You Covered?

This is one of the most confusing coverage options on a home owner’s policy. Not every policy has it, most policies require an added endorsement to provide this coverage.

Water damage, sewer backup, flood all have different components to their definition. To get a better understanding about this coverage we first have to look at those basic definitions.  Each carrier may have different language and as a rule always consult your policy for the details of your coverage.

·         Water Damage

o    An “overflow” is when the water exceeds its boundaries, the space is filled to capacity and the water spills beyond its limits.

o    A “discharge” is a flowing out, a leaking pipe for example

·         Sewer Backup

o    An accumulation that is caused by a stoppage in the flow and causes to flow in the reverse direction. A collapsed drain pipe or tree roots growing into the sewer system are examples.

·         Flood

o    Water has to cover at least 2 acres of land that’s normally dry, or has to have damaged two or more properties (one being your home).

o    Also, the water has to come from:

§  Overflowing inland or tidal waters

§  Unusual, rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source

§  Mudflow (that’s mud carried by a flow of water, creating a river of mud)

o    You’re also covered when shorefront land collapses or sinks due to waters above “anticipated cyclical levels.”

o    Water and seepage that comes from sewer or drain backups or a sump pump that overflows is not considered a flood.

As the most common home owner’s claim most agents in Michigan deal with it’s important for the homeowner to understand what is and is not included in your policy. As always your policy language will rule the day at the time of a claim. Sound advice suggests that you know what you have and what you need, prior to a loss.

The Kennedy Nemier Insurance Agency

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