Tuesday, July 12, 2022

When doesn't homeowners insurance cover a flooded basement?

When doesn't homeowners insurance cover a flooded basement?

Unfortunately, there are also situations where if your basement is flooded you would not be covered by a homeowners insurance policy. The following situations are not covered by a standard home insurance policy:

Rising Water from a Storm, Surge or Heavy Rains

Essentially, any flooding caused by nature will not be covered under your home insurance policy. For all rising water situations only flood insurance can save your basement--and even then coverage is limited.

Flood insurance covers certain objects in your basement like most personal belongings and appliances, but typically won't cover the structure, such as finished ceilings or floors. When you take out a flood policy, you need to purchase both dwelling and contents coverage to get the maximum coverage for your basement.

The best defense against a flooded basement is a functioning sump pump that pushes water out. Preventing a flood from occuring in the first place will usually be the cheapest and least disruptive option, especially if you have a finished basement. If your sump pump fails as well, there is additional "sump pump coverage" you can buy as part of your home insurance policy that ensures your basement up to $25,000 in case of pump failure. Of course, it would have to be a malfunction and not a result of poor upkeep of the system.

Sewage Backup

If an external sewer system backs up into your home and basement, your insurance will not cover the resulting damage. Sewage backup can be one of the most costly disasters that can befall a home, and there are few ways for homeowners to recoup their losses should it happen.

Most home insurance companies do offer an endorsement for sewage backup, and it is relatively inexpensive, but only covers you up to $10,000 worth of damage. That's not enough monetary protection in most cases. Sewage backup can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair.

Water Seeping from Underground

This is a tough case for a homeowner to be in, because this situation is generally not covered. After a period of heavy rain, the ground can become saturated with water, and that water can seep through the ground into your basement. Homeowners insurance companies do not consider this a coverable calamity.

Flood insurance also won't cover it unless the seepage is directly related to a flood in the area. The best defense against this disaster is to make sure the foundation of your home is solid and up to date on all inspections.

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