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Water Backup or Leak Coverage –
Homeowners Insurance Coverage & Benefits


While it is true that standard home insurance policies do not cover flooding experienced during a rainstorm or when bodies of water overflow into your neighborhood, most policies do provide coverage for water leaks that may occur inside your home. Damage from water backups and freezing account for over a quarter of all home insurance claims, so it pays to take advantage of the policy in case your sewer or sump pump backs up.

How Water Backup Leak Coverage Works

If your home suffers from water damage that is caused by water that moves from the ground up, then you are covered under this policy.This includes damage from the following sources:

  • Overflowing Drains & Sewers
  • Broken Sump Pumps
  • Backups from Outside Your Property & More

For example, if the city sewer system leads to a backup that affects your property, then you are covered under water backup coverage.

Leak coverage provides protection from leaks that happen from the plumbing in your home. Insurance companies have their individual interpretation of what covers leaks in the home, but it may come from pipes or the water heater that have been compromised. The most common source is from water freezing in the line which expands and compromises the pipe so that it leaks into the home.

The coverage amount varies from state to state and with individual policies, but most home insurance offers from $5,000 up to $25,000. You may be able to adjust the amount of coverage depending on what you believe the damage itself will do to your home. For example, if you have tile flooring with relatively few furnishings, you may want to choose the lower amount to save money on premiums. However, if your home is mostly carpeted, you have electronic devices on the floor, and other flooring materials that are vulnerable to water damage, you may elect to go with a higher amount.

How to Use the Policy

You will need to stop the damage first if you can by shutting off the water or preventing more water from backing up into your home. At that point, you will want to call your insurance company for guidance in choosing restoration companies. This is usually done by getting estimates from companies that your insurance company approves of to repair the damage to your home.

Once approved, you can have the restoration company repair the damage to your home that was caused by the leak or water backup. Your insurance will provide coverage up to the preset limit, as stated in your policy. Keep in mind that there are areas that your policy may not cover, such as water that backs up from sources such as swimming pools and irrigation for gardens or farmland.

You will want to review your home insurance policy to see if it covers water backup and leaks and the amount of the coverage itself.Your policy may have additional coverage or exceptions that you need to know about before trying to make a claim.