Backup or Overflow?
What is the difference between a water backup and an overflow? Overflow is caused by a blockage in the plumbing system. Water causing damage never enters the sewer system and in some cases, water damage can be considered an overflow if blockage is in the lateral pipe. It all depends on insurance policy language. A backup is a situation where water or sewage enters through drains or sewers or overflows from a sump pump, sump pump well or any other system designed to remove subsurface water which is drained from a foundation area. A water backup is excluded in most Homeowners policies but coverage can be added with an endorsement. Coverage is usually limited to a specified amount but a few insurance companies offer more extensive options. Water backup coverage is critical for not only homeowners but condo owners, renters and commercial insureds as well.
Keep in mind that any property can experience a backup and the damage can be expensive especially if the area is finished. There are four main areas to consider when deciding how much coverage you need including mitigation or drying out the area, structure reconstruction, contents damage and mechanicals such as furnace and water heater. Be sure to discuss the right coverage option with your insurance agent so you are well protected in the event of a backup event.