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What is it with sump pumps and insurance?

It’s become apparent that most people don’t like to think about or talk about insurance.  Well, I’m taking some solace in knowing people don’t like to think about or talk about their sump pump even more!

Sump pump failure is one of the more common homeowner policy claims.  The most common scenario involves someone going into their basement and finding a few inches of standing water in it.  They go over to their sump pump, see the float is stuck, kick it, then the pump starts working.  In a lot of these situations, the water has been down there for a day or two and the dry out and cleanup process is a real bear.  Why do we carpet basements?  And why do we put things we care about on our basement floors?!?!?

A while back I wrote about how to test a sump pump.  If I had a buck for everyone who actually tested their sump pump, I’d be making money in a very odd way (Mitch Hedberg joke).  Seriously, before it’s too late, unplug your sump pump, dump at least 5 gallons of water in your crock, plug the sump back in and see if it works.  The homeowner policy doesn’t replace sumps pumps because they’re old and corroded, so you’ll be paying for this one yourself.  The cost of a new pump, installed, is likely less than your deductible for a sump pump failure claim.  Just do it!

Now is not a bad time to test your insurance, either.  I don’t want you to dump five gallons of water on your insurance agent.  Call your agent and talk through what happens if your house burns down, or your sump pump fails, and your basement gets a few inches of water.  Or ask your agent how your policy would respond better on your worst day (house fire or bad auto accident) if you spent $10 more per month.  A conversation with your insurance agent is the best way to test your insurance!