Lauren Lewthwaite Last Updated On: June 27, 2023

Why Every Home Should Have Water Backup Coverage & How to Get It?

Water is wonderful. It’s one of our greatest natural resources. But water backup in houses is not so amazing. It can cause damage to the foundation, lead to mold, and create long-lasting damage that’s incredibly expensive to fix. 

Unfortunately, there are many things that can lead to water damage, from floods to snowstorms and to water backup from sewers and drains. This is where water backup coverage comes in; it helps protect you from damage from these unexpected sources. 

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Table of Contents

Water Backup Coverage: Why You Need It?

Homeowners insurance is important to have, but it’s not all-encompassing. Homeowners insurance typically covers sudden or accidental water damage that occurs to the home, such as when a pipe bursts or a dishwasher leaks. Unfortunately, there are many types of water damage that aren’t covered by homeowners insurance but that can easily occur, including:
  • Flooding
  • Surface water
  • Water that backs up from sewers and drains
  • Overflow from a sump pump
Repairing damage from these types of events can be incredibly costly, and if untreated, they can lead to devastating consequences down the line like mold. Even getting additional flood insurance added to your homeowners insurance isn’t enough, because it doesn’t include water backup and sump coverage. Having water backup insurance in place can ensure you’re fully protected should something unexpected and out of your control occur.  

Water Backup Insurance & What It Includes?

Water backup insurance is a separate policy on top of homeowners insurance. It’s designed to cover you in case of accidental water overflow and the damage that ensues.

This damage can include:

  • Appliances that cause leakages
  • Backup and blockages from city pipes
  • Overflow from gutters around your home
  • Damaged/old sewers and drains
  • Growth from tree roots
  • Sump pump overflow

So, water backup basically covers any event that causes water to flow into your home, excluding flooding. These types of issues occur more often than you’d think, and as mentioned, incredibly expensive to fix. The water backup and sump pump coverage help pay for the cost to remove the water overflow, the construction and labour costs to repair the damage, or the replacement cost for items and structures damaged.

Another important part of water backup insurance is 
loss of use coverage. This means that if your home becomes unlivable due to water overflow, you’ll be compensated to find alternate lodging while it’s being fixed.

Water overflow can very quickly become a health hazard and lead to mold, so it’s critical that you’re safe and able to fix the damage right away with water backup insurance.


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What’s Excluded From Water Backup Coverage?

Understanding what you are and aren’t covered for under any insurance policy is always important, but especially so when you’re purchasing a supplemental policy. 

So, what does sewer backup insurance not include? 

If the water damage is caused by a broken sump pump, repairing the sump pump itself is not covered. You’ll have to repair or replace that separately. It’s also very important to be aware that sewer backup insurance doesn’t cover water overflow from natural water flooding events or natural disasters, such as:

  1. Flooding
  2. Surface water
  3. Pool overflow or any other bodies of water on your property
  4. Waves
  5. Tsunamis
  6. Tidal water

Sewer backup insurance also doesn’t cover overflow issues that stem from neglect or improper maintenance. If your sump pump is broken and the overflow is because you didn’t fix it or turn it on, your insurance claim could be denied. 

Maintaining your home and performing regular upkeep is part of the responsibility of owning a home, so it’s vital that you don’t solely rely on insurance. 


Understanding Water Backup Insurance Compared to Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is always a separate policy from homeowners insurance and water backup insurance. The damage and situations can feel quite similar, but the fact is that many areas are more susceptible to regular flooding and flooding can be devastating to a home. 

Water backup and sump pump failures are often more contained and cause less damage than natural disaster flooding. More people benefit from sewer backup insurance and sump pump failure insurance because they can happen in any home. Understanding that the two events are separate and require different additional policies is crucial because you’ll need to decide whether you need one, both, or neither, depending on where you live. 

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Is Water Backup Insurance Right For You?

Water backup insurance is highly recommended no matter where you live, the age of your home, or your lifestyle. Water backup and sump pump failure can happen to anyone and the cost of water backup and sump coverage is quite low compared to the costs of repairing damage from these events. 

The saying “better safe than sorry” might be a cliche, but it’s true in the case of water and sewer backup coverage: this type of unexpected and uncontrollable event cant be incredibly detrimental to your finances and savings. It’s worth the cost to purchase it as soon as you buy a home and keep up the premiums to avoid a lapse in coverage

Whether your home is new or old, your appliances are brand new or malfunction regularly, or whether you live in an older neighborhood or in the middle of a city, water backup insurance is a smart idea. 

Preventing the Need for Water & Sewer Backup Coverage

It’s great to have insurance just in case something occurs, but it’s even more important to take care to prevent these types of situations. To avoid water backup and to mitigate any potential damage, try to do these steps regularly:
  • Don’t pour cooking oil or grease down the drain
  • Install a backwater prevention valve
  • Correct any old, damaged, or illegal plumbing right away
  • Don’t flush sanitary products or other paper products down the train
  • Maintain tree roots
  • Clean out your gutters and waterspouts regularly
  • Turn on your sump pump every few months
  • Protect valuables in waterproof storage containers
  • Consider a remote shutoff system to control your water as well as temperature/humidity sensors
Should water backup occur, it’s important that you react quickly in order to mitigate any damage. Document the damage and the cause, file a claim right away and take advantage of the loss of use coverage to stay safe and away from the harmful bacteria that could be present from overflow water.  

Water Backup Insurance: The Gist of It

Getting water backup insurance is a great idea if you own a home. In terms of optional supplemental policies for homeowners insurance, it’s one of the best to have. Water overflow and backup can happen to anyone and do occur regularly, so being covered for it is a responsible decision. The cost and frustration of dealing with something like this are not worth saving a few dollars a month, so make sure you’re covered and that you take steps to prevent something like this from occurring in the first place. 

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Water backup insurance, also known as sump pump failure insurance, protects you against the damage caused by water backing up into your home. It can be caused from sewers, blocked drains, tree roots, gutters, and more.

Water and sewer backup insurance covers the damage caused by water backup into your home. It covers both the cost to remove and clean up water overflow, as well as the costs to repair or replace items and structures damaged by the water.

Flooding and damage from natural disasters are not included in water backup insurance. Neglect and wear and tear are also not covered, as well as the damage ensued from improper maintenance or intentional water overflow.


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