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How Much Water Backup Coverage Do I Need?

Sump pump in basement floor

Water Backup Coverage Under Your Homeowner’s Policy

According to Safeco, your home is six times more likely to incur damage from water than fire, and that 250 gallons of water can leak from a 1/8″ pipe crack every day.  

From a payout perspective, they indicate that the average cost of a water damage claim is more than $9,600—but that 35 percent of their water backup claims pay out more than $10,000.  

Furthermore, the Insurance Information Institute (III) reports that about one in 50 insured homes has a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year, which is the second most common cause of loss. 

With these facts and figures in mind, is your most significant investment adequately protected against water backup? How can you know? I’ll answer your important questions, starting with the basics.  

What is Water Backup Coverage? 

Standard homeowner’s policies cover damage caused by the sudden and accidental discharge or overflow from a sewer, drain, sump pump, or related equipment (even if due to mechanical failure). Or, by a “system designed to remove subsurface water from the foundation area.” 

Related: Does Your Homeowner’s Policy Cover Water Damage? 

However, when it comes to damage caused by water that backs up through sewers or drains, this peril is expressly excluded by most homeowner’s policies. To gain the coverage, you’ll need to add an optional water backup endorsement to your policy, whether by calling your IHS Insurance Group agent or your insurance carrier directly.

This way, whether you experience a backed-up drain or sump pump, burst pipes, leaky appliances, HVAC issues, or water heater failures, you can have peace of mind that your assets will be covered. 

It’s important to point out that water backup endorsements rarely provide reimbursement up to your coverage A limit. Instead, their sub-limits typically fall somewhere between $5,000 and $25,000 worth of coverage. Deductibles can follow your policy, or go as low as $250. 

How Much Does Water Backup Coverage Cost? 

I’ve discussed before the multitude of factors that can impact what you pay for homeowner’s insurance, and it’s no different when it comes to water backup coverage.  

From a high-level perspective, you might expect to pay a base rate of $50-$75 for the first $5,000 of water backup coverage, with each additional $5,000 priced at $30 to $35. 

Pulling these numbers together, if you wanted $25,000 in water backup coverage, you might expect to pay somewhere between $170 and $215 annually. Or, about $14 to $18 extra per month. 

Do you want to get an exact quote? Here’s where the professionals at IHS Insurance Group can help Reach out to our team today at (866) 480 5063, or via email

How Can You Determine How Much Water Backup Coverage You Need? 

Safeco points out in their report that “claims costs vary depending on multiple factors,” including “regional weather patterns and the local cost of mitigation services to the size, condition, and contents” of the home. 

In many instances, they indicate that water backup-related damages have the most significant impact on the home’s lowest levels, including the basement and first floor. 

IHS Pro Tip: To help minimize the impact of any potential water losses, you might consider installing ‘smart’ leak sensors that immediately notify you if a breach is detected.  

You can even closely monitor your water bill for any spikes that might indicate a slow leak. It’s also a good idea to inspect your water heater annually for corrosion or signs of leaks, test your sump pump once per year as well, and replace all of your appliance hoses once every five years. 

Related: How to Stop Water Damage Before It Starts

To help determine whether or not you need water backup coverage on your homeowner’s policy and how much coverage you need, Safeco recommends considering questions like: 

  • Has your home incurred any past water backup losses? If so, what were the total payouts? 
  • Do you have a basement? Is it finished? How large is the finished portion? 
  • What type of flooring and wall materials does your basement have? 
  • If your basement features a bathroom, how large is it? 
  • Is there any HVAC equipment, a water heater, or a washer and dryer in your basement?

Pulling all of the details together should give you a better idea of the water backup coverage you need.  

For example, while we can see that a $5,000 might not be enough to cover the average loss scenario, if your basement features basic finishes, you might choose a lower amount. However, if it features higher-end flooring and wall finishes and a finished bathroom, you might want to max out your limits. 

How Can You Learn More About Your Ideal Water Backup Coverage Levels? 

Combining what we learned from Safeco, along with the levels of coverage potentially provided by a water backup endorsement, we can see that it could deliver a lot of value for the money.  

Therefore, if you have a little bit of extra room in your budget, adding water backup to your homeowner’s policy seems like an obvious choice—if you want to maximize your coverage at a minimal investment. 

Need a FREE Quote or have questions regarding Water Backup Coverage? We have three convenient ways to reach us:  

  1. If you prefer to talk to a licensed agent directly, please call (866) 480 5063.  
  2. If you prefer to fill out a quick form and have an agent get back with you at your convenience, use the GET A FREE QUOTE.  
  3. Lastly, for those that want an immediate quote, please click HERE.  

We look forward to speaking with you today!

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