Author Topic: Sewer and Drain Backup Coverage (Renter)  (Read 7755 times)

OSUBearCub

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Sewer and Drain Backup Coverage (Renter)
« on: August 15, 2014, 09:06:33 AM »
I'm suddenly required to get Renter's Insurance for my lease renewal.  The contracted insurance company the apt community uses is beating the rate against all the non-agreement options I've researched - which is a complete shocker.  However, the company is pushing a sewer and drain add-on insurance for an extra $50 or so a year.  It has a $250 deductible and only covers $1000 total per incident.  Is it worth it?

Bonus Southeastern US and Florida Resident Question: If I don't get it, how high should the clearance be from the floor to my possessions?  Six inches enough?  (I keep the lowest stuff in durable plastic bins already...functional, not so sexy.)

Key facts:
- Studio apartment on the ground floor
- Central Florida
- Haven't had flood or standing water issues in the two years I've lived on this property
- The property owners will cover all damages to the structure, this would just be for my possessions

Gone Fishing

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Re: Sewer and Drain Backup Coverage (Renter)
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2014, 03:13:38 PM »
Nope. Doesn't even sound like it would cover a busted fresh water pipe or storm damage, even if it did you would be paying $50 a year for $750 worth of insurance.   

Bonus question:

Are you on a slab or elevated foundation? How is the grade and topography around your apartment?
« Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 03:16:04 PM by So Close »

Cooperstown

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Re: Sewer and Drain Backup Coverage (Renter)
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2014, 05:39:25 PM »
Sewer and water backup wouldn't cover a busted pipe.  If you get enough water to backup sewage/water into your sump pump your covered.  $1K with a $250 deductible is terrible.  $50 a month is $600, after deductible you get $750 of coverage this is a joke.  Honestly talk to a broker they can probably get you considerably better for much less.  My current home owners has $25k with a $1k deductible for $15.  I get extra discounts because I'm an insurance broker, but still what you are being offered is terrible.

OSUBearCub

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Re: Sewer and Drain Backup Coverage (Renter)
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2014, 09:58:55 AM »
Nope. Doesn't even sound like it would cover a busted fresh water pipe or storm damage, even if it did you would be paying $50 a year for $750 worth of insurance.   

Bonus question:

Are you on a slab or elevated foundation? How is the grade and topography around your apartment?

Being in Florida, the coverage has built-in hurricane damage coverage without the added on sewer and drain coverage. 

It's slab construction on a level grade (to my untrained eye).  I noted that there haven't been any flooding or standing water issues over the past two years and the soil is quite sandy and appears to drain well.  You would think that previous heavy rains would give an indication there might be a lurking problem, right?

OSUBearCub

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Re: Sewer and Drain Backup Coverage (Renter)
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2014, 10:01:32 AM »
Sewer and water backup wouldn't cover a busted pipe.  If you get enough water to backup sewage/water into your sump pump your covered.  $1K with a $250 deductible is terrible.  $50 a month is $600, after deductible you get $750 of coverage this is a joke.  Honestly talk to a broker they can probably get you considerably better for much less.  My current home owners has $25k with a $1k deductible for $15.  I get extra discounts because I'm an insurance broker, but still what you are being offered is terrible.

Renter not home-owner, studio apartment on ground floor, no basement/crawl space/sump pump, $50 per year for the additional coverage.  Does any of this change your impression of the coverage?  Especially since you're a broker; I value your input.

MandyM

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Re: Sewer and Drain Backup Coverage (Renter)
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2014, 10:19:24 AM »

- Haven't had flood or standing water issues in the two years I've lived on this property

This isn't for a flood or standing water - its for a sewer back up. Which is unlikely (assuming you are on a municipal system, not septic). Plus, if there is a sewer back up, there is a chance it was the city/county/municipalities fault and they will often correct on their own dime. (FWIW, I work in the sewer industry and have had sewers back up on projects, which the city corrected).

usmarine1975

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Re: Sewer and Drain Backup Coverage (Renter)
« Reply #6 on: August 18, 2014, 12:09:28 PM »
When looking at insurance and evaluating should/shouldn't I purchase said coverage one needs to look at a few factors. 

What's your Risk?
    How likely am I to have a Loss?

What's the cost to Insure the risk?
    $50.00 per year as you stated for your policy.

What's the pay out in the event of Loss?
    $750.00 per payout which is 1,000-250 deductible.

You have lived there for 2 years with no incidents If you had the insurance your benefit would be lessened by $100.00 via the 2 premiums you already paid.  So essentially after 2 years your benefit is $650.00.  If you go 4 years again it would lessen by $100.00 which would take it to $550.00 (yes at that time you would get a check for $750.00 but I am subtracting out what you have paid to receive that check.  The longer you go without a loss the less likely you would be to take this coverage. 

Also this is per incident if you had 5 incidents in a year your payout would be much higher.  But again not as likely to occur.

That being said we insure for loss's that could happen not that never will.  If we knew when you were going to experience a loss it would be much easier to make the gamble with insurance companies you could in essence take a policy on the year you expected the loss and get the most gain.  But Most insurance companies would not survive with that ability.

I sold homeowners insurance for a time and your price is not comparable to the prices I would see for homeowners with $10k or $25k in coverage. 

AH013

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Re: Sewer and Drain Backup Coverage (Renter)
« Reply #7 on: August 18, 2014, 12:27:05 PM »
Also check out what constitutes deemed damage.  I.e. I would be none too pleased that a claim for fecal matter all over my furniture & personal items is met with a response of "just rinse that off, and it'll be okay".  They may only consider absorbent items (mattress, bedding, clothing, etc.), electronics, and paper-based products (art, etc) as a full loss, or even worse a loss at a depreciated amount, and consider anything non-porous as perfectly fine with a little soap & water at your own effort & expense.

OSUBearCub

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Re: Sewer and Drain Backup Coverage (Renter)
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2014, 10:59:28 AM »
Also check out what constitutes deemed damage.  I.e. I would be none too pleased that a claim for fecal matter all over my furniture & personal items is met with a response of "just rinse that off, and it'll be okay".  They may only consider absorbent items (mattress, bedding, clothing, etc.), electronics, and paper-based products (art, etc) as a full loss, or even worse a loss at a depreciated amount, and consider anything non-porous as perfectly fine with a little soap & water at your own effort & expense.

Oh God. This adds a "what fresh hell is this" spin to the argument.  Unfortunately, this info isn't very clear on the website. I can't determine if I can even cover the cost of a 3rd party clean-up service.

I'm getting the feeling that this additional coverage is a pure rip off.

AH013

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Re: Sewer and Drain Backup Coverage (Renter)
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2014, 02:43:06 PM »
Also check out what constitutes deemed damage.  I.e. I would be none too pleased that a claim for fecal matter all over my furniture & personal items is met with a response of "just rinse that off, and it'll be okay".  They may only consider absorbent items (mattress, bedding, clothing, etc.), electronics, and paper-based products (art, etc) as a full loss, or even worse a loss at a depreciated amount, and consider anything non-porous as perfectly fine with a little soap & water at your own effort & expense.

Oh God. This adds a "what fresh hell is this" spin to the argument.  Unfortunately, this info isn't very clear on the website. I can't determine if I can even cover the cost of a 3rd party clean-up service.

I'm getting the feeling that this additional coverage is a pure rip off.

Don't worry about a 3rd party cleanup service.  That falls to the landlord.  If s/he disagrees, you file with FHA and say your apartment is uninhabitable because it is caked in **** (through no fault of your own) and you are withholding rent until remedied.  It will be remedied quickly, or s/he will find a big red square with an X through it nailed to the door in short order.

OSUBearCub

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Re: Sewer and Drain Backup Coverage (Renter)
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2014, 03:34:51 PM »
Don't worry about a 3rd party cleanup service.  That falls to the landlord.  If s/he disagrees, you file with FHA and say your apartment is uninhabitable because it is caked in **** (through no fault of your own) and you are withholding rent until remedied.  It will be remedied quickly, or s/he will find a big red square with an X through it nailed to the door in short order.

Awesome advice!  I knew it was best to bring this question to the forums.  I try not to be adversarial with the leasing company.  When they demand that I purchase rental insurance out of the blue, for a lease renewal (despite having two years of spotless tenant history with them and not a blemish on my record with any previous landlord...ever) I like to inform myself.  Insurance in Florida is a shady shady business to begin with. :-)