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Don’t forget the sump pump! This is one risk you don't want to miss.

Buying a new home is an exciting stage in your life, and there is a lot that goes into it. The ideal home will be perfect from the ground up – but don’t forget what is below ground.

Having a properly installed and maintained sump pump is your first defense against water escaping from sewers and drains, such as toilets, within the residence. This type of water backup is more common in areas where:

  • Flooding is common,
  • There are frequent rainstorms or heavy snows,
  • There is a high-water table (such as near a river).

However, it can occur in any situation where the pressure within the drainage system becomes unbalanced, causing grey water to flow back up through the drains.

It is important that you make sure the sump pump is in good working condition and that you understand the maintenance requirements going forward. This is because the sump pump plays an important roll when it comes to properly insuring your home. You may be surprised to learn that damage caused by a malfunctioning sump pump is not covered under most homeowner’s, renters, and condo policies, and is not included in flood insurance. An endorsement policy, often called a Sewer, Drain, & Sump Pump endorsement, is needed to cover water damage which occurs due to a sump pump failing to operate. However, this coverage will only apply if the homeowner is not the cause of the malfunction - negligence in proper maintenance of the sump pump could result in the coverage being voided.

What does a sump pump endorsement cover?

In the event a sump pump fails, and a loss occurs, provided there was no fault by the homeowner the Sewer, Drain, & Sump Pump endorsement will typically cover damages including:

  • Cost of water cleanup,
  • Possessions destroyed by the back-up of sewer waters.

If you don’t have a sump pump and damages occur that could have been prevented by the installation, you may find yourself covering the costs of water removal and damages yourself.

It is important to note that this coverage does not include the repair or replacement of the faulty sump pump, this would be covered under an equipment breakdown endorsement. Also, this coverage does not apply if the water backup is caused by a blockage within the sewer line. If the sewer lines under your property need maintenance or need to be repaired/replaced that would be covered under the Service Line Coverage endorsement.

Like any other insurance policy, coverage can vary depending on your policy. If you rent your residence, or have a condo policy, you should not assume that the property owner will have coverage for your damaged possessions in the event of a sewer water backup.
Please talk to one of our Insurance Advisors about any concerns you have about your coverage, or to get coverage recommendations unique to your situation and exposures.