Homeowners tips: Water backup endorsement

Safeco Insurance provides comprehensive homeowners insurance products to meet your customers’ needs and that includes an optional endorsement that may help protect your customers from the potentially disastrous effects of water backup. Water backup is one of the most common causes of loss for homeowners but also one of the most misunderstood.

The key to selling the optional endorsement is to understand what is covered in the base homeowners policy, what is covered by the optional endorsement, and what is not covered under any circumstances.

What’s covered, what's not?

Safeco's Homeowners policy provides coverage for water that backs up through sewers or drains as long as it originates on premises. As this chart shows, the optional endorsement expands the coverage to provide better protection. This optional endorsement is called Escape of Water from a Sump, Sump Pump or Drain on the Residence Premises.*

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To provide additional flexibility, Safeco offers two variations of the optional endorsement. One provides coverage for damage to building and contents while the other covers damage to building and specified contents. With the latter endorsement, the specified items that are covered are washers and dryers, refrigeration units (not including contents), cooking ovens and ranges, dishwashers and built-ins such as furnace, carpet, air conditioners, etc. Limits up to $50,000 are available in most states.**

What’s never covered?

  • Flooding is the most common excluded coverage. Whether the result of a river overflowing its banks or a dam breaking, water damage caused by surface water entering the house is not covered.
  • Overflow originating off-premises is not covered. This would include a sewer line breaking in the street and causing water to flow over the surface into the house.
  • Sub-surface water is excluded. For example, if a swimming pool or sprinkler system leaks underground and causes water to seep through the foundation, there is no coverage under either the base policy or the optional endorsement.

Learn more about our optional coverages, including selling points, in our SafecoHomeowners Insurance Optional Coverages reference guide.

All statements made are subject to provisions, exclusions, conditions and limitations of the applicable insurance policy. If the information in these materials conflicts with the policy language that it describes, the policy language prevails.

 *Optional coverage not available in LA. Option YY (Water Backup and Sump Overflow) is still used in states that have not launched our New Home Contract or that continued to maintain grandfathered books of business after the New Home Contract was launched.

**Available limits and premiums vary by state. Please check your state product guidefor specifics.