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What you Should Know About Flooding and Insurance

Posted: June 2, 2016

It has been a very water drenched Spring. 


 “Rainfall totals are higher than usual, according to Illinois State Climatologist”.

 “On average in Illinois, we can expect rain about 1 out of every 3 days. So far this May,

we have had 7 out of 11 days with rain and only brief periods of sunshine.”

With this much rain, it is common for many homes to get flooded.   It is important to

be prepared and know your coverage. 

Sump Pump

Many people confuse sump pump coverage/sewer back up coverage and flood insurance. 

These are actually 2 separate policies and if your policy does not have the coverage, you are

NOT covered.

  • Sump pump/sewer backup coverage provides protection against sump pump failure and water backing up from your sewer. 

Common examples of sump pump failure:

  • If the power goes out and your sump pump stops working 
  • If you sump pump fails due to age, your basement can fill with water. 
  • During heavy rain, if the sewer system cannot keep up with the flow, sewage can back up into your basement causing damage to your flooring, walls, furnace, furniture, etc.  

What are the costs?

  • Water remediation is an expensive cost.  Remediation cost can be as much as $5,000 just to get the water out! 
  • The sump pump/sewer back up coverage pays up to a certain limit for these types of exposures. The limit starts at $5,000 and increases in increments of $5,000.  I recommend at least $10,000 with a finished basement.  The added cost to your policy is about $50+/year depending on the amount of coverage you request.  This coverage is ADDED to your homeowner’s policy as  an endorsement.

Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is a  separate policy.  

  • This policy protects you against flood.  When you file a claim an adjuster will come out and assess how the water entered your home. 
  •  If  the water comes in through the cracks (aka seepage) this will be treated as flood and is not covered with sump pump and sewer back up coverage. 

How much is Flood Insurance?

  •  Flood insurance can be costly with rates about the same as a homeowner’s policy ($500/year+).  

Are you in a Flood Zone?

  • Many people do not obtain the coverage unless they are in a flood zone.  This is an area that FEMA has deemed likely to flood.  If you are in one of these areas your mortgage company will REQUIRE you obtain a policy.

How to be Prepared for a Flood

  • Seal your basement to prevent water from seeping into creeks
  • Raise electrical system components as high as possible
  • Make sure your sump pumps are working properly
  • If a big storm is coming, consider stocking up on supplies, like: sandbags, plywood, plastic sheeting and shovel
  • Streams, creeks and low-lying areas should be avoided. Flash flooding can happen in a matter of minutes during, or shortly after, a major rain event.
  • Make sure medication is topped off and kept in an elevated, dry place.
  • Tune into The Weather Network and pay attention to local announcements for flood updates and watches.