Heavy rains, sump pump failures, flooding and insurance

Beware!Our much needed heavy rains have come at last.  A bucket in my backyard has collected more than 6 inches of water in just a few days.

Rain is collecting in other places, too.  Sump pumps are common in Los Gatos – particularly if your home is on or near a hill.  Most are run on electricity only.  Some have battery backups so that they keep working when the power fails.

But what if the sump pump malfunctions and stops working?  It may result in water accumulating in a crawl space.  Or if the sump pump aims to keep a basement dry, it could end up flooded.

What I’m learning this week is that sump pump failures are not covered by home owner’s insurance unless there’s a special rider or endorsement attached.  (And a home warranty won’t cover the sump pump failure if they determine that it was installed incorrectly.)

If you have a sump pump, it’s important to keep it clear of debris and perform maintenance so that it doesn’t give up the ghost when you need it most.  If that sump pump is protecting living space especially, please talk to your insurance agent about adding a rider and whether that makes sense for you and your specific property.    Lastly, please consider upgrading the sump pump to one with a battery backup, too.

Here are a couple of related articles fyi:

Beware of These Common Holes in Homeowners Insurance Coverage (US News article)

Will Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Sump Pump Failure? (Article on Zack’s)