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Do I Need a Battery Backup or Insurance for a Sump Pump Failure?

A sump pump in a basement with a bucket next to it.

A sump pump may be a critical part of your home or business particularly if you reside somewhere with regular water damage risks. With a sump pump in good working order, the pump should automatically pump out unwanted water before is causes severe damage. 

But what happens if there's a power outage or your sump pump fails? That's where you need a backup plan. Here's a look at some options which include a batter backup and insurance to help make sure you're ready to dry out financially after a wet situation. 

Sump Pumps 101

A sump pump is a mechanical device that sits in a pit known as a basin in the basement or ground level of a building. A well-placed sump pump should be at the low point of the floor, so it captures any unwanted water in the basin. When the pump detects water, it activates and pumps the water out to a better place than the basement, such as a backyard. You should avoid an output within 10 feet of your foundation and going into neighboring property. Some localities forbid pumping water out in a way that would send it to local sewers.

Sump pumps work well to remove water that could show up where it shouldn’t. But what happens when the power’s out, or there are problems with your sump pump? Likely, nothing all that good, which is why it’s important to have a backup plan for your sump pump. 

Sump Pump Battery Backup Systems

The first line of defense is to keep your sump pump powered even if all your other power goes out. A sump pump battery backup will do just that. It kicks in when your power cuts out, allowing the sump pump to keep running. If you live somewhere prone to water damage risks, you likely understand how helpful this may be in preventing water damage to your home.

Sump pump battery backups cost around $150 to $200 on the low end and well over $2,000 for high-end, commercial-grade batteries. More expensive systems can run longer and power more energy-hungry sump pump systems. If you're handy around the house, you may be able to install the battery backup yourself. If you find that idea intimidating, you'll likely need a plumber or qualified contractor for installation.

Insurance for a Sump Pump Failure

Battery backups are not foolproof. While they work most of the time, there's still a “what if" scenario where there's water damage risks and your sump pump with a battery backup doesn't work for some reason. Basement and ground-level water damage may still occur if the pump gives out, the sump discharge pipe is blocked, or the battery isn't holding a charge. For this, you might want to get a backup plan for your backup plan.

Insurance for a sump pump failure provides some coverage just for those events when the sump pump doesn't work. This coverage may be more affordable than you realize.
Certain water damage risks are excluded, so read your policy closely and verify whether you have insurance. You can also talk to your agent to learn more about your policy to ensure you have the water-protection coverage you want or need.

An insurance endorsement or rider for sump pump failure can fill the gap or provide and additional layer of financial protection on top of your homeowner's policy for this specific situation. If you wind up with a busted sump pump and water in your property, having this insurance in place can help.

Anyone with a high-value home should periodically review and potentially consider increasing their insurance coverage to ensure their household is adequately protected. Adding insurance for a sump pump failure may be a wise decision. 

A Drop of Prevention Prevents a Flood of Costs
Water damage starts with the first drop of water. If you can stop the problem before it worsens, you'll be in a far better position to recover. Sump pumps are like little robots standing by, waiting to save your property from damage.

When basement water damage can cost up to $10,000 or more to repair, paying a little upfront to get the best combination of sump pumps, battery backups and insurance could be an excellent decision. If you're not sure you're adequately covered, reach out to a Westfield agent today to learn how you can get protection from water damage risks to your basement or ground-floor.