Temperatures are beginning to warm, the snow is melting, and heavy spring rains are right around the corner.
We are about to enter wet basement season. Is your basement ready to handle the extra water? Each year more basements get water in them. Just because you have a homeowner policy does not mean your insurance will cover the costs to dry out your basement and replace/dry out soaked belongings. The property coverage on your homeowner policy will not cover damage to your personal property or your home caused by sump pump failure or water backing up through your drain.
If you have a sump pump or drain in your basement, the name of the coverage you need on your homeowner policy varies a bit, but it’s usually referred to as “Water and Sewer Backup.” You might not have Water and Sewer Backup coverage because it’s not required on your policy, and if you have this coverage you might not have enough to cover the damages. Don’t wait until your belongings are soaked and floating in your basement to look into this! Recovering from a wet basement is more expensive than you might think, and it can be an incredibly draining experience.
To save yourself from out-of-pocket expenses from a soaked basement, we recommend taking action now:
- Test Your Sump Pump. Testing the sump pump can be as simple as pouring buckets of water into your sump crock until the float rises and triggers the pump into operation. Most claims for wet basements come from sump pumps that simply didn’t work. Annual testing of your sump pump is a good practice.
- Check your homeowner policy. In case your sump pump fails, or water backs up through your basement drain, you want to know your policy will cover the dry-out and property replacement costs. Call your agent and check to see that you have Water and Sewer Backup coverage and find out if the dollar limit of this coverage will address damaged property.
Don’t wait until it’s too late to make this a priority! Now is the time to replace an inoperable sump pump and have a good conversation with your insurance agent to make sure the costs of a wet basement and damaged belongings will be covered by your homeowner policy.