Sewer Backup, Mold & Flood
Sewer backup and sump overflow is a special kind of peril when it comes to homeowners insurance. If you live in an area where there are older trees with root systems that may have grown into your sewer lines, or if your local storm sewer system gets overtaxed, or if you have been inadvertently putting coffee grounds and dental floss down your drain, your sewer lines may back up into your home. This type of incident is not always covered on homeowner's policies, and when it is, the coverage is limited. A good preventative measure is to regularly have your sewer lines cleaned by a plumber who specializes in this.
Many policies also cover the overflow of your sump pump in the same way - with limited coverage.
Check with your agent to understand the nuances of this coverage - companies has different interpretations on how these kinds of claims are handled.
Mold has been a particularly active topic of late, and insurance companies have been limiting the amount of coverage they offer in their policies to lower their exposure. Most homeowner's policies cover around $10,000 in mold damage to your home, and $50,000 for liability. These can generally be increased to higher limits, but a with sewer backup, check with your agent to understand the specifics.
Flood is defined as water that penetrates your home that emanates from the ground - broken water mains, water that seeps into your basement through the foundation, water that rolls off your roof and collects at the foundation, an overflowing nearby river or other body of water. This is not a covered peril on a homeowner's policy; a separate flood insurance policy is needed to provide protection. If you do not live in an active flood zone, the pricing for this type of policy can be relatively inexpensive.