Edward E. Hall & Company
Protect Your Home From Sewer Damage
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PROTECTING AGAINST DAMAGE FROM SEWER BACKUP
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), damage from a sewer backup can cost a homeowner anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000.
Unfortunately, most homeowners are not aware that their homeowners insurance policy does not cover such damage. Just as many homeowners on the Gulf Coast learned after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that their policies did not cover flood damage, others are learning that the policy on which they have relied for so long does not cover damage from sewer backup.
An endorsement is available to add such coverage to the homeowners policy.
Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO) publishes the HO 04 95, which provides $5,000 of coverage for damage done to a home by "water, or water-borne material." For a modest annual premium of $40 or $50, the HO
04 95 covers such damage caused by sewer or drain backup, as well as that caused by sump pump failure. A plus for the homeowner is that, regardless of the deductible amount on the basic policy, this coverage is subject to a deductible of $250.
Of course, you would rather this not happen to you even if it is insured.
Here are some things you can do to avoid or minimize damage from backed-up sewer systems.
* Do not put grease, paper towels, diapers, or other refuse down toilets or sinks. This will help you prevent clogs in the pipes that connect your home to the sewer.
* If your sump pump, French drain, or other flood control system is connected to the sewer main, you should have a plumber remove that connection. Typically, such an arrangement is illegal.
* You should install a backflow-prevention device. The investment of between $500 and $5,000 will go a long way toward protecting your home.
* If you do have a sewer or drain backup into your home, you should thoroughly clean the affected areas with disinfectant. Be sure to completely dry the area, as well, in order to prevent disease and further damage from mold and mildew.
Published on Wednesday, August 8, 2007
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