Safeco provides comprehensive homeowners insurance products to meet your customers’ needs and that includes an optional endorsement that may help protect your customers from the potentially disastrous effects of water backup. Water backup is one of the most common causes of loss for homeowners but also one of the most misunderstood.

The key to selling the optional endorsement is to understand what is covered in the base homeowners policy, what is covered by the optional endorsement, and what is not covered under any circumstances.

What’s covered, what's not?

Safeco's Homeowners policy provides coverage for water that backs up through sewers or drains as long as it originates on premises. As this chart shows, the optional endorsement expands the coverage to provide better protection. This optional endorsement is called Escape of Water from a Sump, Sump Pump or Drain on the Residence Premises.*

Covered by homeowners policy

Not covered by homeowners policy

Covered by the optional endorsement

Toilet or shower drain gets clogged and overflows causing damage

Sewer line in the street backs up and causes the overflow

Coverage is expanded to include backup or overflow from causes originating off premises as long as the backup or overflow itself occurs on the premises

Water that escapes, overflows or discharges from a sump pump, sump well or any other system designed to remove water which is drained from the foundation area

Coverage is provided when water escapes, overflows or discharges from a sump pump or other similar system

To provide additional flexibility, Safeco offers two variations of the optional endorsement. One provides coverage for damage to building and contents while the other covers damage to building and specified contents. With the latter endorsement, the specified items that are covered are washers and dryers, refrigeration units (not including contents), cooking ovens and ranges, dishwashers and built-ins such as furnace, carpet, air conditioners, etc. Limits up to $50,000 are available in most states.**

What’s never covered?

  • Flooding is the most common excluded coverage. Whether the result of a river overflowing its banks or a dam breaking, water damage caused by surface water entering the house is not covered.
  • Overflow originating off-premises is not covered. This would include a sewer line breaking in the street and causing water to flow over the surface in to the house.
  • Sub-surface water is excluded. For example, if a swimming pool or sprinkler system leaks underground and causes water to seep through the foundation, there is no coverage under either the base policy or the optional endorsement.

Learn more about our optional coverages, including selling points, in our Safeco Homeowners Insurance Optional Coverages reference guide.