How Do I Protect Against Water Coming Into My House with Insurance?
Updated: May 8, 2020
Several times during the year the phones at our insurance agency in Mt. Carroll, Illinois begin to ring with calls from our insureds asking if they have coverage for water in their home.
Whether you have coverage or not really depends on how the water is entering your home.
Is the water backing up from the sump pump or through a drain? If this is the case you may have coverage from your home owner's policy from water back up coverage. This is commonly called by a few different names depending on which carrier you are working with, Water Back Up and Sump Discharge or Overflow coverage, Escape of Water from a Sump, Sump Pump or Drain. Each company has a slightly different name for this coverage.
If you have water that has overflown into your basement due to a sump pump that can not keep up or a drain that has backed up into your basement, this is the first coverage you will want to see if you have on your Illinois home insurance policy. If you have water backup coverage on your home insurance policy you may have coverage for items such as clothes washers and dryers, food freezers, ovens, dishwashers, furnace, carpet, and personal belongings.
Many companies offer this coverage in increments of $5,000 while some offer in $1,000 increments.
The second most common type of water issue we see is caused from flooding.
Here is how FEMA.gov defines flooding:
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area or of 2 or more properties (at least 1 of which is the policyholder's property) from: --Overflow of inland or tidal waters; or --Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or --Mudflow;or
Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.
Loss from a flood is NOT covered by your homeowners insurance policy. To be covered by loss from a flood you must purchase a separate flood insurance policy. Flood insurance policies are available from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and administered by standard insurance carriers. You can also elect to get a policy from a private flood insurance carrier that is not part of the NFIP.
If you own a home in high risk area prone to flooding your mortgage company may require you to carry flood insurance. It is important to note that most flood policies do not take effect until after 30 days of signing (unless you are closing on a loan) so sign up in plenty of time.
The third type of water entry that our insurance agency is asked about is water seeping in through the home through cracks in the wall, around windows, or maybe through a crack in the floor. Generally, this type of water entry is not covered by a homeowner policy as it is seen a a routine maintenance issue and not "sudden and accidental." In the same way water entering through a roof that has shingles or tiles that have not been properly maintained in many years is also the responsibility of the homeowner. The insurance carrier may cover the resulting damage to carpet, flooring and dry wall the slab, foundation, and roof would not be covered by the insurance company.
If you have any questions about whether you have the proper insurance policy to cover you from water entering your home give Clark Carroll Insurance Agency a call at (815) 244-1570 or visit our offices in downtown Mt. Carroll, IL and Lanark, IL.
Clark Carroll Insurance Agency provides Insurance solutions around the area of Mt. Carroll, Lanark, Shannon, Milledgeville, Chadwick, Lake Carroll, Savanna, Thomson, Pearl City, and many more areas in Northwest Illinois. And even Iowa!