Water backup and condos- Who covers it?

March 11, 2008 No Comments

water backup damage condo associationWater is a peril that is often misunderstood by policy owners.  Water backup damage can be very costly, and condo association members are often not sure who covers it.

While it is commonly accepted that flood is not a covered peril of a typical homeowner’s insurance policy, there are other types of water damage that can occur that may be excluded from coverage.  One of the most notable exclusions of insurance policies, unless properly endorsed for coverage, is the backup of sewer and drains.

Spring is typically considered the wettest season of the year and heavy rains can overflow sewer systems to the point that they can back up into your home.  Basements are the most susceptible area of the home for sewer back up.  A basement sink, toilet, or sump pump can back up with sewage and brackish water that will damage any item it comes in contact with.  The cleanup cost for this type of event can easily run into the thousands, and if it is not part of your insurance policy, you will be responsible for all expenses out of pocket.

Building policies that cover condo associations and rental properties are also subject to this exclusion.  Trustees and property owners that fail to obtain coverage for this peril run the risk of having to utilize association or personal funds to repair any damage that may occur due to the backup of sewer and drains.

Homeowner’s and building insurance policies can be endorsed for a small amount of additional premium to cover the risk of water backup.  Be sure to inquire with your insurance agent to determine if this coverage is currently provided by your existing policy and if not, what would be the cost to add it.  There will be an additional cost to provide this coverage, but the benefit may outweigh the potential loss.  As with all insurance questions, your agent is the best resource to assist you with this decision.

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