TIPS FROM TRESSA
Excess Rains, Water/Sewer Back-up – What you should know
When it rains it pours both figuratively and literally as many people in Iowa have found out over the last month with all the heavy rains. Water/Sewer Backup can be confusing- am I covered or not? The first thing you need to know is that it is not necessarily included on every homeowner’s policy. In most cases, it is an endorsement that needs to be added to the policy. It can be added in several different increments starting anywhere from $2,000 all the way up to $50,000, and you are responsible for a deductible prior to any claim being paid.
The biggest misconception that people have is if ANY water gets in their basement this endorsement will cover the damage. Unfortunately for many, that is not the case. In most instances the policy endorsement for Water/Sewer Back-up states water must back up through sewers or drains, or water which enters into and overflows from within a sump pump, sump pump well, or other type of system designed to remove subsurface water. It will NOT cover water that comes in through the walls, windows or floor due to heavy rains. This would include in a flash flood if your backyard suddenly accumulates a small lake and water starts leaking in from oversaturation.
Flood insurance strictly covers overflow of inland waters or the unusual and rapid accumulation of runoff or surface waters from any source. The key to flood insurance is it must occur on at least 2 acres of normally dry land OR affect 2 or more properties. The other thing is to get flood insurance, you typically must be in some sort of flood plain.
Each endorsement or policy has its limitations. The amount of insurance you need can depend on if your basement is finished or not. If you are unsure if you have coverage, or have enough coverage, it is strongly encouraged to contact your insurance agent to find out. As always, I would be happy to discuss this coverage or any other coverage with you- call me today at 319-472-2379 at Wilson-Hite Insurance or stop in and see me.
By Tressa Walton