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Sewer line backup: Know your coverage


If you operate a veterinary, dental or optometric office, ask your agent how your sewer backup coverage works before you have a loss.

You walk into your office on a Monday morning to discover there has been a sewer line backup. After the initial shock, you wonder, “Do I have insurance coverage for this? If I do have coverage, what are my limits?”

These are important questions, and ones you should consider asking your local independent agent now.

If you are a dentist, veterinarian or optometrist, losses could be costly. Carpet, furniture, fixtures and business equipment will need to be replaced or professionally disinfected. You may also lose business income for several weeks if you must close while you repair the building and replace your business personal property.

Many policies have a sublimit for this type of loss; for example, $25,000. However, costs could easily be much higher. If your loss is $75,000 and your current policy has a $25,000 sublimit, you might need to borrow $50,000 or more from a bank just to get back in business.

Another exposure is from flood. You don’t have to be next to a river, lake or other body of water to have a flood loss. If water comes in through a door or window due to heavy rain, that is considered a flood. Most policies exclude flood, and you would have the same damages to your business personal property and a business income loss as you would from water backup.

Know what coverage you have before a loss, so you aren’t surprised later.

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