What is Water Back up of Sewer & Drains?

What happens when your basement floods

One of the things we in Central New York hear quite often from friends, relatives or neighbors is;

Hey, my basement flooded, or I am dealing with water in my basement.

Unfortunately that is the case with our ever changing weather here in New York and for us it just happens to be the second most asked about insurance claim we see every single year.

The part where people get confused, is this situation rarely is ever due to a Flood. It is usually always due to the back up of water or sewage through a sump pump or a drain

Water Back Up of Sewer & Drains

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.

The coverage is not automatic and wasn’t even available to be purchase until the early 2000s.

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 or died or just an issue stemming from a blockage in outside pipes.

Flood Insurance

Flood Insurance has very specific guidelines of when they come into play to pay a claim. FEMA states that in order 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 rain water 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.


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When water develops in your basement when you don’t have a sump pump or a drain and it appears to be leaking through your foundation or basement windows, this develops a problem.

Water seepage through a foundation is excluded on property insurance policies.

Have water in basement?

We see a lot of people try to handle the situation themselves. It is important to get a professionals opinion on the situation so that you don’t have a bigger problem down the road.

Especially if you have a finished area that got wet. Carpet, walls, etc can hold the moisture and develop Mold over time.

What’s Next?

Make sure you have this coverage by reviewing your current insurance policies. Even if your basement is typically dry, you are going to have this coverage. Review your policies with an independent insurance agent who can provide options for you. Don’t know an agent or want a review of your insurance?

Click below to learn more on how to proceed.



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