Water coming in our basement.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Sep 7, 2012

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Insurance Question from Homer Glen, IL

Asked on 09/07/2012

Water coming in our basement. We had extensive damage from a storm a few weeks ago. and put in a claim. Because it was determined verbally over the phone that we did not have the rider for sump pump coverage the claims adjuster would not even come out to check out our basement. Can he do that? I feel it hard to believe that a sump pump, back up sump pump and ace in the hole all gave out at the same time.

Answer given on September 09, 2012

Water damage claims for the homeowner policy are limited in coverage and many companies will exclude water damage if there is a sump pump that failed, unless there is an endorsement that includes sump pump failure. However, since there was a large storm involved in the claim it seems the adjuster should at least come out to determine if the damage was caused by the sump pump or not.You didn’t indicate whether there was a power failure included in the loss. If so, then the cause could be the failure of the sump pumps due to the power loss. Ask the adjuster again to come out to determine the cause of the loss. If he refuses, you should ask a contractor or plumber to come out and if they can determine what caused the loss. Then you may be able to convince the adjuster it was not the sump pump. However, it could be a flood loss, which is not covered by the homeowner policy, so you still may not have coverage for the loss.

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