Water backup from off-premises drains and pipes

What is the difference in coverage if water backs up through a drain or sewer due to heavy rainfall, such as a hurricane, and water that backs up due to a break in the town’s water system infrastructure (pipes)?

The difference is night and day, or no coverage vs. coverage.

The Section I-A.3 Water excluslon in the ISO Homeowners Policy (HO 00 03) applies to the following types of water:

  1. Flood, surface water, waves, including tidal wave and tsunami, tides, tidal water, overflow of any body of water or spray from any of these, all whether or not driven by wind, including storm surge;
  2. Water which:

(1)    Backs up through sewers or drains; or

(2)    Overflows or is otherwise discharged from a sump, sump pump or related equipment;

  1. Water below the surface of the ground, includign water which exerts pressure on, or seeps, leaks, or flows through a building, sidewalk, driveway, patio, foundation, swimming pool or other structure; or
  2. Waterbornematerial carried orotherwise moved by any of the water referred to in 3.a. through 3.c. of this Exclusion.

Consequently, heavy rainfall from a hurricane resulting in water that backs up through sewers and drains will be excluded.  There is, however, coverage for the backup of sewers and drains in a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood policy when the backup is caused by a flood, as defined by the NFIP policy.

In the case of a ruptured sewer pie or water main, we will find coverage in the homeowners’ policy if the discharge or overflow occurs off the “residence premises.”  This coverage arises from the exception to Dwelling and Other Structures A.6 exclusions.

The exception is, unless the loss is otherwise excluded, we cover loss to a property resulting from an accidental discharge or overflow of water from a steam within a strom drain, water, stream or sewer pipe, off the “residence premises.”

Water exclusion eliminates coverage for a discharge or overflow of the drain or pipe.