In the third series of Home Insurance 101 we are discussing endorsements that can be added on to your home policy – Overland and Sewer Back-Up coverage.


A key differentiation between overland water damage and sewer back-up water damage is if the water is coming up (through pipes, drains, taps), it is a sewer back-up. If it is coming down (through foundation, window, cladding), it is overland. Let’s get into the logistics of both of these types of endorsements.


Overland Water Coverage

Many people assume that overland water endorsement and sewer back-up endorsement are the same thing. Overland covers fresh water entering your home at ground level. This often includes situations involving snow melt, river or lakes flooding or excessive rainfall. This type of coverage is important if you live in a lower valley or part of land or if you live near any fresh water that fluctuates water levels.

A sudden and accidental penetration of water through foundation walls or basement windows can lead to extensive water and mold damage that can affect your home and belongings. Depending on the severity, these losses can climb quickly into the thousands.

Most policies will not provide you with overland coverage unless you also get sewer back-up endorsements as well. Both are equally as important to protect your home and belongings. Be sure to talk to your agent or broker more on the options that you have available for overland coverage.


Sewer Back-Up Coverage

Normally sewer back-up and overland coverage go hand in hand. Although you cannot normally get overland endorsement on its own, your insurance may allow you to add sewer back-up coverage without overland coverage. This is completely dependent on your insurance provider. Ask your broker or agent to confirm coverage options.

Sewer back-up will cover any damages that are caused by water coming up or being pushed into your home through sewer pipes or drainage systems. This type of water damage is normally the most destructive because it not only water damage, but also unsanitary, dirty water that can be a risk to homeowner’s health.

Sewer backup can be caused by a number of different factors including, but not limited to; tree root impact, deteriorating sewer systems, blockage of city sewer mains, gutter or rain water pipes being blocked. A lot of these causes are out of your control, but is still your responsibility to insure your home against these damages.

Sewer backup is not something that is not included in a basic home insurance package. You must add it on as an endorsements to ensure you are adequately covered for potential damages. Your agent or broker will be able to give you details on the additional cost and coverage of a sewage backup endorsements.