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Understand Your Flood Risk: Know That Sewer Back Up Insurance Is Not The Same As Flood Insurance

Release date: 
November 4, 2010
Release Number: 

NEW BERLIN, Wis. -- Flooding is the most common and costliest natural disaster in the United States each year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wants Wisconsin residents to understand their flood risk and learn more about the types of insurance coverage that are available to protect against flooding.

Some homeowner insurance policies do not cover flood damages.

Homeowners, business owners and renters in communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can purchase policies or riders to protect property and contents. Policies average about $570 a year and can start as low as $119.

Special Flood Hazard Areas

Homeowners within a Special Flood Hazard Area have a 26 percent chance of experiencing flood damage over the course of a 30-year mortgage. Those individuals are required to purchase insurance for the life of the mortgage if the mortgage is funded through an FDIC-insured federally-regulated lender. But flooding can occur anywhere; insurance should be considered even in lower-risk areas, where preferred risk policies are available at lower premiums.

Sewer backup insurance

Sewer back up insurance may be necessary to cover damages that occurred where no surface water flooding also occurred. Sewer backup insurance, coverage for damages caused by backup through sewer and drains, is available on most homeowners and commercial policies, usually as an additional rider. There is a limit on coverage and a separate deductible. Sewer backup insurance may or may not also cover damage due to sump pump failure or power interruption, and does not cover damage from surface water or foundation seepage. Average policy coverage of $5,000-$10,000 costs $75-$150 per year. Sewer backup insurance may not be available in high risk flood hazard areas.  

To learn whether they require flood insurance, individuals may contact a local insurance agent. To learn more about flood insurance, visit: or call 1-800-427-2419.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

Last Updated: 
January 3, 2018 - 12:21