Limited Water Backup and Sump Discharge or Overflow Insurance

Today we have a special guest blog post from Chris Kane, Mitigation Manager at Cape Fear Flooring & Restoration. Chris – also fondly known as Kane – has been with CFFR for two and a half years. Kane retired from the Army on 31 Oct 2015 as a Sergeant First Class and Started working for Cape Fear Flooring and Restoration on 10 Oct 2016 as a Technician. He was moved up to lead Technician in January 2016, and promoted to 1St Responder in April of 2017. He was then promoted to Mitigation Manager in August of 2019.

During my time with Cape Fear Flooring & Restoration, I have seen it all. One of the things that I see the most is damage due to water backup from sewage, drains or sump pumps – probably four times a month. Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10, people don’t have this covered in their insurance (or don’t even know that it’s a thing!).

Limited Water Backup and Sump Discharge or Overflow Insurance is worth investing in! This is Coverage for water backup from off-premises sewage or drains, or loss from overflow of a sump pump due to mechanical failure or off-premises disruption of power.

Basically what happens is when you shower or use the toilet upstairs, the water flows down but experiences a backup and is unable to continue its path to the sewer or septic tank. The water then comes BACK UP (hence the term) through the lowest drain.

If water is coming back up through a drain then it is blocked between the road and the P-Trap at a toilet, sink, tub, or washing machine discharge line. Full septic tanks also fall into this category.

If you have a 2 story home and flush the toilet upstairs and there is a blockage before it reaches the street, due to gravity it is going to come up through the lowest point downstairs. Same thing will happen if you shower, do laundry etc etc.

Once the water hits the pipe, it is considered a Category 3, which means that anything the water touches (carpet, flooring, furniture etc) is now contaminated with pathogens and feces and needs to be removed, and disposed of. If your home is built on a slab and this occurs, it will flood your entire home.

If there is a simple blockage such as in a toilet and you flush and it overflows, then this will fall under your perils loss. But if the water is originating at another drain and coming up somewhere else this is a backup which requires a separate rider for Limited Water Backup.

EVERYONE should have this coverage, but especially if you have a two story home or if your home is on septic. It is $20- $30 / YEAR, and could save you thousands of dollars. If you have USAA, you may be covered, but check your policy just to be safe.

You may have to specifically ask your insurance carrier about it. If it is not listed under ‘other coverages you have added’, call up your insurance company and discuss adding it. Depending on your insurance company, they will cover $5000 - $10000 worth of damages and that’s money that won’t have to come out of your pocket!

Do you have any questions? Feel free to give us a call and we would be happy to provide more information! If you have policy specific questions, you may want to call your insurance company.