Most people probably don’t think about insurance coverage against emergency plumbing disasters in their day-to-day lives, but if something goes wrong, having coverage can save your money and your sanity. We spoke with an insurance expert to get some plumbing-related insurance tips that will keep you protected in the case of a plumbing emergency.
Protect Yourself Against Flooding
Three years before the wildfire in Fort McMurray, thousands of Albertans were evacuated for weeks because of catastrophic flooding. According to the Calgary Herald, the flood caused about 5 billion dollars of damage, but the Insurance Bureau of Canada only reported 1.7 billion in claims. That means that 66% of the damage was not covered by insurance.
Many homeowners had property insurance, but they didn’t realize that those policies don’t cover flood damage, or as they call it in the insurance industry “Overland Flooding” Coverage.
Insurance can be purchased for some water-related perils in Canada, but at the time, comprehensive residential flood policies weren’t available. Most of us don’t need Overland Flooding Coverage because we live in Edmonton, which isn’t a high-risk area, but that doesn’t mean you won’t experience flooding! Even a small amount of rain can cause flooding.
Having a sump pump and a backwater valve can protect you from flooding and get you a discount on your insurance if you have one. Our insurance expert, Maria Spadafora from Liebel Insurance Group , told us that the discount could be around 10% for a sump pump, 5% for backflow water valve, and about 15% for both.
An additional discount or rating difference comes from having a battery back-up on the sump pump and alarm. Water sensors also provide a discount but the discount you receive varies. It could be anywhere from 2% all the way up to 25% if you have all of the above.
A lot of people are unaware that not only can it save you up to 25% on your home insurance rate, but you can be given a different rating such as “preferred” (Preferred Risk) therefore lowering your overall rate because insurance companies view the client as someone who is responsible and takes initiative to prevent claims.
Protect Yourself Against Sewer backup
Over 80% of all home insurance claims are because of water! About 70% of those water-related claims are caused by sewer back-ups, so making sure you are protected from a sewer backup is an investment in your future wellbeing.
Having a sump pump and a backwater valve will reduce the chance that you will experience sewer backup. Sump pumps collect water and pump it away from your home and backwater valves prevent overloaded sewer pipes from backing up and filling your home with sewer water.
Old Pipes Can Lead to Problems
Another thing that can lead to plumbing-related nightmares is if your home has old iron or galvanized plumbing. Old iron pipes are seen as very high risk and many homes have had the service line under their property burst!
Insurance companies will pay for the damage to the home, but very few of them offer coverage on the actual water line under the ground and the city does NOT cover this. That means you have to dig up your yard and get the pipes underneath replaced and re-piped all the way out to the city sewer system. With the cost of labor, plumbing material, landscaping, and possible garage or concrete work (depending on where the line is), this can end up being a HUGE expense and most companies offer don’t offer coverage.
What can you do if you have an older home? Most people just hope for the best. Thankfully, the better companies have coverage for this. If your home is over 75 years old, you should definitely get them replaced because they will probably cause problems sooner than later. Or, better yet, instead of spending $10,000 on that, have the appropriate insurance coverage for if it does happen.
Now that you know, Take Action!
So now that you know about the different kinds of plumbing-related problems that can cause problems, you can protect yourself against them by getting a sump pump, backwater valve, battery backup, and proper insurance coverage.
At Kingstree Plumbing, we can help you get the best type of sump pump for your home. We can install it and provide maintenance to ensure that you don’t experience flooding or sewer backups. If you have an older home that has iron pipes, we can help you with that too, just give us a call at 587-410-3554 or send us a message via our contact form.
For insurance coverage, Maria Spadafora of Liebel Insurance is an amazing resource, and she has helped a lot of people get great rates so send her an email or give her a call at 780-341-7474.