One of the most common claims at this time of year is water damage caused by the failure of a sump pump system. The damage arises from one of two areas: loss of power or mechanical problems. We often lose electricity during storms, so the pump is unable to run. Mechanical problems can occur when the pump wears out or as a result of corrosion from infrequent usage of moving parts, causing a malfunction when the pump is needed.
Water damage caused by sump pump failure is excluded in a homeowners insurance policy. However, you are usually able to purchase optional coverage with limits starting at $5,000. Renters should also consider this coverage. The following are a few steps to prevent a problem with your sump pump:
- Install a battery-powered backup pump.
- Test your pump monthly by pouring water into the pit.
- Install an alarm that sounds when it senses water. There are local alarms as well as alarms that call a telephone number or alarm service.
Keep items stored in the basement off the floor by utilizing shelves, plastic containers, and blocks under items.