Water backup: What’s covered, what’s not


The toilet overflows, the drain backs up, the sump pump malfunctions or a sewer line breaks and sends water gushing in from the street. Does insurance cover the ensuing damage?

Safeco provides comprehensive insurance products to meet your customers’ needs, and that includes an optional endorsement that may help protect them from the potentially disastrous effects of water backup.

What is covered in the homeowners policy?

Safeco’s homeowners policy provides coverage for water that backs up through sewers or drains as long as it originates on premises. (In Texas, off-premises backup is covered under the Safeco Homeowners policy.)

Water that escapes, overflows or discharges from a sump pump, sump well or any other system designed to remove water that is drained from the foundation area is specifically excluded, and that’s why our optional endorsement could come in handy for some of your clients.

What is covered by the optional endorsement?

This coverage, called escape of water from a sump, sump pump or drain on the residence premises*, does two things:

  1. It provides a “give back” of the sump pump exclusion. Coverage is provided when water escapes, overflows or discharges from a sump pump or other similar system.
  2. Coverage is expanded to include backup or overflow from causes originating off premises as long as the backup or overflow itself occurs on premises.

Benefits of the optional endorsement

  • Safeco’s optional endorsement gives back coverage for overflow originating on premises from a sump pump or similar system that is otherwise excluded in the base contract.
  • This endorsement also protects against water backup on premises that originates through no fault of the customer – for example, if the main sewer line gets clogged up the block.
  • Limits up to $50,000 are available in most states**.

All statements made are subject to provisions, exclusions, conditions and limitations of the applicable insurance policy. If the information in these materials conflicts with the policy language that it describes, the policy language prevails.

Coverage is fact-driven and each claim will be evaluated on its own merits and circumstances for coverage determination.

*Coverage and policy options differ by state. Optional coverage not available in Louisiana. Option YY (Water Backup and Sump Overflow) is still used in states that have not launched our New Home Contract or that continued to maintain grandfathered books of business after the New Home Contract was launched. In California, Option YY is an available option in the Quality Plus program; it is included in Quality Crest and cannot be eliminated.

**Available limits and premiums vary by state. Please check your state product guide for specifics.

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