Spring! It is just around the corner!
With it comes the certainty of winter run-offs, rain, and the possibility of municipal sewers backing up into your basement!
If you are interested in keeping your premiums down, saving money (deductibles $500, $1000 or more) and avoiding immense aggravation, read on -
When many of us were growing up the house basement was often an unfinished play area for the kids or where the camping and hockey equipment and other "junk" got stored. Sewer back-ups were rare and if we had a major rain and the sewers did back up into the basement, it was often no big deal with a few hundred dollars of clean-up costs.
Contrast that to today with many homeowners turning their basements into luxury living areas often with wine cellars, saunas, exercise rooms, or expensive entertainment centers. Custom renovations of $100,000+ are no longer unusual!
Combine this with heavier rainfalls, aging infrastructure, greater housing density, and you can see why our sewer systems are often challenged with resulting sewer back-up losses now at an all-time high.
Imagine peering in to your basement after a heavy rain to see 8" of putrid sewage water – the drywall, your custom bar, your sound equipment…days of clean-up, followed by months of paperwork, contractors, insurance adjusters, your deductible, increased premiums – not a pretty scene.
Or, you could consider some relatively inexpensive measures or devices to help reduce the chance of a sewer back up. First, talk to a qualified plumber before you install any sewer back-up protection devices. Plumbing fixtures such as toilets, sinks, showers, floor drains and washing machines that are set below ground level require special protection.
Consider the following devices to see how they may be of help:
Screw Cap – If you're having trouble with your floor drains, a screw cap installed upstream of the trap seal of the floor drain may be all you require.
A CSA (Canadian Standards Approval) Inline Sewer Backwater Valve should prevent sewer backup if you maintain it properly and have it checked regularly.
Gate Valve. Where a backwater valve isn't sufficient protection, you may need a gate valve and a backwater valve for basement plumbing fixtures that are subject to backflow.
There may be other options available to you as well. The key here is to try to prevent the damage from happening in the first place.
Sure, maybe you feel comfortable with just relying on either full or partial sewer back up insurance. When you consider the nature of this disaster, however, if there ever was a case for "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", it is here.
The Insurance Advisors @ Guthrie Insurance Brokers Ltd
Toronto – (416) -487-5200 – Richmond Hill – (905) 313-8481
E & O E