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Water in the basement. NOW what do you do?

Water backing up into your home? Your basement flooded? NOW what do you do?

It's that time of year. Between thaws and added rain here and there, many of us run the risk of water backup or flooding at our homes and in our businesses. There are a number of things you can do to help minimize or prevent water damage to your property. Follow these tips to help prepare and recover from potentially costly water damage. Your washing machine is also a place where water can get into the home. Take a look at this Tip on how to minimize that from happening.

There's a difference between water back up and flooding

Most standard homeowner's insurance policies do not cover flooding caused by extreme weather conditions such as spring thaw or generalized flooding that originates from outside your home. Even backed-up sewers aren't covered on most policies unless you pay extra for this coverage. Water back up is exactly that - caused by leaking pipes, something with your plumbing or sump pump in your home. Water backup and sump overflow provides coverage if your property is damaged because of waterborne material or sewage that has backed up through sewers or drains. It also provides coverage for damage caused by waterborne material or sewage that overflow from a sump pump, even if the sump pump fails. Homeowner's insurance may help cover damage caused by leaking plumbing if the leak is sudden and accidental, such as if a washing machine supply hose suddenly breaks or a pipe bursts.

However, homeowners insurance does not cover damage resulting from poor maintenance. You MUST have an addition to your homeowner's policy for sump pump and water backup. Ask your CH agent whether you have this in place. The cost annually is minimal and shouldn't be overlooked.

Flooding can occur anywhere

If you have a mortgage and live in an area where flood risk is high, your lender may require you to purchase a flood policy that is specifically backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Even if you're not considered to be in a flood zone, you might want to consider flood insurance anyway. There are no restrictions on who can purchase a policy. Flooding can and does happen everywhere regardless of what zones on a map may say.

If you're curious and would like to see if your structure(s) or one you're interested in purchasing is in a flood zone click here and type your address in.

Outside of your normal homeowner's policy

Flood insurance is usually separate from your homeowner's insurance. Many people make the assumption that their homeowner's will cover any flooding and that's not the case. Learn here about the myths of flood insurance according to FEMA. Just a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage. Often there are flood insurance premiums that make sense given the value of your property particularly if you have a finished basement.

It's important to note water back up coverage is typically purchased as an endorsement on your homeowners' insurance. To learn more about this coverage, speak with your team at CH by phoning 315-234-7500 or emailing 

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