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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Sump Pump Failure?

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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Sump Pump Failure?

Some homeowners are stunned when they find out that flooding damage that takes place in their basement is not reimbursable by their policy. Standard home insurance plans generally don’t cover against flooding. It would typically be something that you need to buy an add-on for. This is why it’s critical to cover every scenario with your agent to see if it will be a covered expense when you sign up for a new home insurance plan.

If your sump pump has failed and caused the flooding, there could be several indications as to why it failed. It could be either a mechanical failure or an electrical issue due to a possible power outage or it could be poor maintenance. Coverage is going to be dependent on the circumstances.

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Does My Plan Cover Sump Pump Failure?

The ‘Sewer and Drain Back-Up’ portion of the home insurance policy confuses many policyholders into assuming that when their sump pump backs up, the damage caused will automatically be covered within this part of their policy. That is most of the time incorrect. Most standard homeowners insurance plans don’t cover sump pump failure unless you add an endorsement to your policy.

Adding this endorsement will cover you if the sump pump happens to stop working in the case of a power outage, and could possibly cover any mechanical failures of the sump pump depending on the carrier and the issue. You still need to take added precautions even when you purchase the sump pump endorsement to be sure that you’ll be covered if the pump does fail and there is water damage.

The adjuster is going to be inspecting the sump pump to see if it has been well maintained and there is no clogging with debris because improper upkeep can result in a denial of coverage and potentially higher premiums.

Adding the Sump Pump Endorsement

Worrying about basement flooding would bring you to buy a sump pump endorsement to add to your home insurance program, but you also need to take precautions to keep water damage from happening to begin with.

  • Maintain. Proper scheduled servicing of your sump pump will make it possible to assess issues more easily before they are able to cause any kind of damage to your home. This will enable you to keep the pump in good functioning capacity. This type of maintenance is particularly important during times prior to major storm fronts or when snow is melting. You’ll find this beneficial if there is a failure and the adjuster notes that the pump has been well kept.
  • Backup. You can preserve the sump pump in the event of a power outage with a battery backup. These will enable the sump pump to function even if the utility power is unavailable due to an outage. Most of the sump pump failures are caused by an electrical issue which is due to a power outage. Having a battery backup is an effective resource to prevent electrical failure.
  • Generator. Adding a generator to your home may be a good idea if your area is prone to power outages or has frequent problems with flooding issues.

Adding these precautions to your home maintenance routine will aid you if there is a sump pump failure and the adjuster needs to disprove negligence. 

Even with the sump pump endorsement added to your homeowners policy, the reimbursable amount might be low and the damages you incur including the work needed to fix it might not be completely covered. But it’s much better than having to come fully out of pocket for the expenses. 

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