Does Your Homeowners Policy Hold Water?

Does Your Homeowners Policy Hold Water?
July 13, 2018 CommunityAmerica Insurance Agency

Picture this: It’s a regular summer day and a storm is starting. You knew it was going to be a big one from the forecast, but as you watch your basement fill with water with no end in sight, you can’t help but wonder if there was something more you could have done to prepare for this.

For a lot of Johnson County families, this was the reality less than two years ago when a multi-day storm filled basements and backed up sump pumps all over the area. Unfortunately for many of those homeowners, they lacked the right insurance coverage. Additionally, because of the volume of calls water restoration companies were receiving, having the proper coverage and a referral from a trusted partner (like CommunityAmerica Insurance Agency) became early qualifiers in how quickly households could get on the schedule. This meant not only were repairs out of pocket for many families without the proper insurance coverage—but it was a long time until they were even able to get their basements emptied and clean and their sump pumps back to fighting shape.

Short of sandbagging your home, water is a difficult element to control, and while some homeowners policies may provide cost relief related to water damage, it’s not common. Back-up from a sump pump and basement flooding are not typically a part of conventional homeowners coverage; generally, it’s an optional coverage that many of our agents include automatically because of its common usage in Johnson County and the greater KC area. Aside from wind and hail issues, it’s the second most common home claim that’s filed with our agents because of our area’s high risk and amount of sump pumps.

Water and Sewage Coverage takes care of damage from water that comes through floor drains or sump pump overflows. Without the coverage, it’s out of pocket and you’re liable for any and all damage; including everything from structural water damage on drywall or carpets to anything stored in your basement.

Even without the risk of incoming water from storms, the coverage is worth it for sump pumps alone. The truth is that even though sump pumps are pretty common in our area, the maintenance is difficult and it’s easy to find yourself on the wrong end of a sump pump disaster.

Usually, the coverage is pretty affordable. Depending on the policy, it comes in increments of $5,000 with a starting premium of under $100 per year. This basic coverage would likely be enough to get the water pumped out and to put up fans; but if you have a finished basement, you will need to replace everything that’s ruined. This may mean it’s worth it to invest in more coverage, especially if that water has a high risk of being contaminated.

What about the city pipe?

You may also be wondering about the pipe which runs from your house to the street. As strange as it may seem, more often than not, this pipe is actually the homeowner’s responsibility, not the city’s, and although this is the case, this particular pipeline is not typically covered under a traditional homeowners policy or your water and sewer policy. The good news is you can find affordable coverage in Kansas City at this reputable option. If you’re not sure who is responsible for the pipe in your yard, call the city to double check.

When in doubt, opt-in.

While it’s smart to assess your risk before jumping into insurance policies, we also like to remind folks that insurance isn’t designed for the predictable. We want to keep you safe for the “in case.” That’s what we’re here for. If you want to brush up on your coverage or update your policy, give us a call today.

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