What is the difference between Flood and Water Back Up Coverage

Water Damage

You’ve just walked downstairs and noticed that the basement floor is wet, possibly even covered in a few inches of water.

Where did that water come from?

Will be insurance company pay for this?

Well, that depends on how that water got there and what type of coverage and insurance policies you have in force will determine if there is a covered claim.

We hear all the time, my basement has “flooded.”  That’s generally not the case in Central New York. The damage is usually caused by the back up of water or sewage from a sump pump or a drain. Falling under the coverage Water Back Up.

Since these two terms or insurance coverage’s often get mixed up, let’s explain what each one is.

Water Back up Coverage

This coverage is also known as sump pump overflow coverage and it is a special endorsement that is needed to be added to your homeowner’s insurance policy covering losses from the back up of water or sewage either from a sump pump or a drain.

Insurance Companies will offer this coverage starting at increments of $5,000 and be increased based on the situation along with who the insurance company is.

This covers you in the event the sump pump failed, died, or just an issue stemming from a blockage in outside pipes.

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Flood Insurance

Flood Insurance has very specific guidelines when it comes to paying a claim. FEMA states that for it to be considered a flood, two or more neighboring houses or two or more acres of normally dry land need to be affected before they consider paying a claim.

It also has to be because of one of the following reasons

Overflow of a body of water- lake, pond, stream

Accumulation of rainwater running towards your property

Again you normally don’t see this anywhere near us in Central New York at least compared to the amount of  “flooded” basements.


As you can see there is a very specific line between what is covered under Flood insurance and water back up coverage.

The problem is that most homeowners will refer a water back up issue as “flood” causing more confusion to the general consumer.

You may not need Flood insurance on your property but there is a good chance you need Water back up coverage.

Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to verify you have this coverage and if you do not make sure you contact your agent to get it added. It is the number 2 property claim we see in our agency, year after year.

If you don’t have a relationship with an agent or want a review of your insurance then click the button below to schedule a review with one of our trusted insurance advisors.



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