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Reverse Waterfall: Strategies to Mitigate Water Damage Costs That Can Begin Below Ground

The Pacific Northwest is perhaps best known for its glorious emerald scenery, and enjoyed by thousands of residents and visitors each year. In a typical season, the overflowing riot of azaleas, rhododendrons, and evergreen thankfully is maintained through natural means with the same average rainfall experienced on average as the rest of the United States – that is, until we approached winter 2019/2020.

It’s wet. opens in a new windowIn the last few weeks, the greater Seattle area set record rainfall to the tune of over three inches in a single day, making it the fifth wettest ever recorded here.

Water’s Impact on Properties

The impact of water goes well beyond our friends in the greater Puget Sound area. From sudden large amounts of rain in the desert, to unknown obstructions in your drain system, to melting and refreezing during spring break up, we are all susceptible to potential losses from water coming up from a sewer or drain system.

Keeping your property well maintained with cleared gutters and drains to prevent water damage is key to any loss prevention plan, just as ensuring a robust property program includes not only flood coverage for perils that begin above ground, but also strong enhancements such as water backup from sewer and drains for those hazards that start below ground and you don’t see coming.

Coverage to Respond

Water backup from sewer and drains coverage is typically available as a sublimit via an enhancement endorsement attached to your commercial property policy for a minimal premium. The limit and expansion of coverage varies from carrier to carrier, however most forms begin at a $10,000 limit and will cover direct physical damage to property as a result of sewer and drain backup. There can also be additional options depending upon the carrier, further extending this enhancement to apply to lost income or rents as a result of shuttered operations while the water damage is being rectified on the premises. It can also extend to provide coverage for floors below ground, sump pumps, and other related equipment.

It’s important to be prepared with a combined loss prevention plan and strong coverage program to mitigate and absorb these potential water damage losses; coverage for sewer and drain water backup is an important consideration for any property program.

To better understand what coverage your insurance program currently includes for water damage or explore additional options, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Parker, Smith & Feek team to discuss in depth.

This blog post was written by Aimee Edgin, Commercial Operations Manager at Parker, Smith & Feek.

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