Hilton Insurance News
Why insurance for Sewer Backup
June 19th, 2015
Why insurance for Sewer Backup?
What is Sewer Backup?
Sewer Backup can occur when the city system overflows and sends water back up through the sewer system into your basement drain or pipes. One of the most common is when a lot of water enters into the city system due to rainfall or rapid melt of winter snow in the spring. Other possibilities may be that there is a failure of a sump pump or other device or system that is designed to deal with excess water. This backup of a sewer or storm drain system can cause significant damage to your basement with only inches of water into your basement. Your furnace, hot water tank, home theater system, and obviously any renovations that have been completed to your basement are at risk.
Water Damage, Sewer backup and Flood Damage is one of those areas of Home Insurance that there are plenty of exclusions and grey areas that require you the homeowner to pay special attention as part of your home insurance policy. A standard homeowner’s insurance policy does not always cover flood insurance and water damage to your home or basement. You can get apply for additional coverage based off of where you live and if you have a home in a flood zone or not. Additional coverage may be added as an endorsement to your policy for an extra premium.
Steps to Prepare and Avoid Sewer Backup Overall prevention is always a better solution than allowing water to back up into your home causing tens of thousands of damage. Here are several ways to can ensure that if this occurs you can prevent the water from getting into your home.
• Sump Pumps are your first line of defense, ensure they are working properly
• Installing backflow valves in your home
• Grading the property so that slope takes water away from the foundation
• Keeping your eaves troughs and downspouts clean and allowing for property drainage of water
It is a surprising number of homeowners who are unaware that sewer backup is not part of a standard home insurance policy. It is important for you to verify that you have coverage before you have four inches of water and you have significant damage to your basement or home.
What to do when it happens
So lets say you have taken every precaution, you have solid coverage for this ever happening and you get sewer backup into your basement area and now have three inches of water causing damage to your furnace, hot water tank, walls, flooring and any furnishings you have there. What do you do now? Normally sewer backup drains off after the underlying cause is resolved, excess water is drained from the system and the water in your basement drains away. Firstly, depending on the amount of water, it may be prudent to turn off the gas/electricity to the furnace and hot water tank. Second, call your insurance broker or insurance company’s claims line to file a claim. An adjuster will be assigned to your claim and will contact you usually the same day. Third, it is good practice to document the scene with pictures of all the affected areas and items that have received water damage. This effort is your first line of reporting when dealing with water damage and filing a claim. Lastly, as much as possible, prevent further damage from occurring. Depending on the amount of water, this may require having the water pumped out of the house or even turning on fans to dry the carpets. Your adjuster will assist you and direct you with any questions regarding the claims procedure. Sewer backup can result in a great deal of damage to homes, including the development of mold problems and of course bacteria from sewage that has entered the home. It requires immediate proper clean-up that can be very expensive. As well, it can result in damage to carpets, walls, furniture and other personal property that will be costly to replace, not to mention the possible health concerns.
Hilton Provides Solution
Please give us a call, even if we are not your primary insurance provider we can do a quick audit of your current policy and assist you in knowing whether you have coverage or not. We are ready to be here for you before you need us and not after.
Contact us at (204) 488-4484 for our 472 Academy Road office or at (204) 786-3354 for our 888 Sargent Avenue office.
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