Clarke & Sampson Blog

What is Water Back Up Coverage?

Posted by Scott Jefferson

Mar 5, 2014 2:38:16 PM


Whether it’s a sump pump failure or a clogged drain, water back up is one of the most common types of losses. It’s also one of the most misunderstood. Do you know how your homeowners insurance would respond?

A standard homeowners policy provides coverage for accidental discharge or overflow of water from plumbing, heating, and air conditioning as long as it originates on the premises.  For example, if your shower drain clogs and causes water to overflow, you would have coverage for the resulting damage.

What if your back up originates off premises? Imagine a scenario with heavy rains causing the sewer line to back-up into your basement. Coverage is specifically excluded for off premise back ups unless you have the water back up of sewer and drains endorsement. The water back up endorsement removes the exclusion for overflow and discharge from sump pumps. It also expands coverage to include back ups that originate off premises. The endorsement generally includes several limit options ranging from $5,000 up to the full dwelling amount.

Quick tip: Be sure to confirm with your agent that your water back up endorsement provides coverage for both building and contents.  

It’s important to distinguish that the water back up endorsement is NOT flood insurance. A flood, as defined by FEMA, is a general or temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or two or more properties. In order to obtain flood coverage, you must purchase a flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program. 


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Topics: Flood Insurance, Personal Insurance, Homeowners Insurance, Water Back Up