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Home insurance coverage for sewer/water backup

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  • Feb 4th, 2015 5:46 pm
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[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2004
4113 posts
771 upvotes
Wat

Home insurance coverage for sewer/water backup

Hello,

I was just wondering what the general consensus is for coverage for water damage in the basement, either from a broken sump pump (rain water) or sewage backup. My basement is unfinished. How much coverage does everyone have for an unfinished basement?

The agent said items damaged from water in the basement would be covered under contents part of insurance. This water damage portion would only cover water removal, mould removal, and fixing a finished basement (flooring, walls etc). Since my basement is not finished, it would only cover water removal and mould removal, so would it make sense to lower the coverage?

Thanks for your replies.
9 replies
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2004
4113 posts
771 upvotes
Wat
My current coverage is $650,000. Lowering it to $30,000 would save $120 on my premium.
Sr. Member
Dec 4, 2004
548 posts
261 upvotes
GTA
Wiseman wrote:
Feb 4th, 2015 10:15 am
My current coverage is $650,000. Lowering it to $30,000 would save $120 on my premium.
$650,000 sewer backup coverage? That's like the full rebuilding cost of a 3,000 sq. ft. house in Toronto! What do you keep in your basement?
Deal Addict
Feb 2, 2011
1605 posts
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Ottawa
$650k for the basement alone? Are you sure they didn't mean the total amount for rebuild plus content?
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2004
4113 posts
771 upvotes
Wat
Yeah 650k for basement alone. The agent told me its a waste since there's no way a basement would cost that much to fix. She recommended 30k coverage which should fix most finished basements. I'm opting for 20k coverage since mine isn't finished.
Deal Addict
Aug 20, 2007
1855 posts
613 upvotes
Kitchener
I don't know who your insured with but make sure your advisor knows the policy wordings. I've been in the industry and I have never seen a policy where your contents would be covered based on your contents amount and the water/sewer coverage is for mold, damage, debris removal. Generally, water/sewer losses are excluded from the base policy, ie your contents coverage. The coverage is added back in by endorsement and the limit you choose, ie 30k, includes everything form rebuilding the basement, all the contents, debris removal. Be careful as something does seem right to me here so make sure to ask some more questions of your advisor. Generally, in my experience most people would be ok with 40-50k in water/sewer coverage which would coverage damages, contents, debris removal, etc.
Wiseman wrote:
Feb 4th, 2015 11:34 am
Yeah 650k for basement alone. The agent told me its a waste since there's no way a basement would cost that much to fix. She recommended 30k coverage which should fix most finished basements. I'm opting for 20k coverage since mine isn't finished.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
28097 posts
13902 upvotes
Ottawa
Wiseman wrote:
Feb 4th, 2015 11:34 am
Yeah 650k for basement alone. The agent told me its a waste since there's no way a basement would cost that much to fix. She recommended 30k coverage which should fix most finished basements. I'm opting for 20k coverage since mine isn't finished.
If your basement is covered for 650K, your house must be in the millions...better check that coverage again, or better yet talk to a different adviser?
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2004
4113 posts
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Wat
vkizzle wrote:
Feb 4th, 2015 1:40 pm
If your basement is covered for 650K, your house must be in the millions...better check that coverage again, or better yet talk to a different adviser?
I'll have to carefully read the new policy when they send it to me. Doesn't go into effect for a month, so I still have time.
Deal Guru
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Nov 5, 2001
10798 posts
1337 upvotes
Edmonton
vkizzle wrote:
Feb 4th, 2015 1:40 pm
If your basement is covered for 650K, your house must be in the millions...better check that coverage again, or better yet talk to a different adviser?

20k to 30k might not be enough even on an unfinished basement.

Full flood means new furnace, hot water heater, electrical panel with all the contractor charges that come along with them.

If the floor reaches the main floor engineered joists, they will likely need replacement as well.

Plus you have to factor in additional unexpected costs. Flooding can cause slab/foundation damage, big $. What about mold remediation that migrates to the rest of the house while your insurer or contractor drags its feet on the repairs? Easily thousands of dollars.

Just bought a house in the $600s. Maxed out the coverage I could get for our finished basement at $150k. Cost an extra $50 to $60 a year vs basic coverage and won't get caught with my pants down if shtf.
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Dec 28, 2004
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Burlington
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blainehamilton wrote:
Feb 4th, 2015 4:29 pm
20k to 30k might not be enough even on an unfinished basement.

Full flood means new furnace, hot water heater, electrical panel with all the contractor charges that come along with them.

If the floor reaches the main floor engineered joists, they will likely need replacement as well.

Plus you have to factor in additional unexpected costs. Flooding can cause slab/foundation damage, big $. What about mold remediation that migrates to the rest of the house while your insurer or contractor drags its feet on the repairs? Easily thousands of dollars.

Just bought a house in the $600s. Maxed out the coverage I could get for our finished basement at $150k. Cost an extra $50 to $60 a year vs basic coverage and won't get caught with my pants down if shtf.

I was going to mention this too glad someone did.

Furnace, hot water, washer, dryer electrical are all usually in the basement. Anything you are storing.

I don't think clean black water out of a basement is cheaper to get the smell out and disinfect.

$30k goes away really fast.

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