How Homeowners Can Protect Against Paying Out of Pocket for Water Damage – WCCO
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minnesota (WCCO) – This happened again. There was another water main break in a neighborhood of St. Louis Park.
Homeowners are sharing their frustration with the city again on Monday as they deal with two rounds of flooding in two weeks.
READ MORE: ‘Give us back our homes’: Flooded St. Louis Park residents consider legal action against city
A 12-inch water main burst flooded more than 50 basements on May 21. Last Friday, a second rupture near the first caused more damage and a sewage backup.
WCCO’s Reg Chapman has more information about additional coverage you can purchase to protect against paying out of pocket for damages.
Disaster recovery specialists tour homes on Minnetonka Boulevard, where water from a water main has flooded basements. With cleaning crews, many homeowners are frustrated — and are turning to the City of St. Louis Park for answers on how to pay for cleaning.
WCCO spoke Monday with Mark Kulda, spokesperson for the Minnesota Insurance Federation.
READ MORE: Flooded St. Louis Park residents frustrated after second water main break in two weeks
“Normally, home insurance does not cover water damage, unless it comes from a sewer or drain. And if you have what’s called a “sewer and drain backup approval,” then your landlord’s insurance policy will cover damage to your basement caused by water from places like this here,” Kulda said, pointing to the damaged water pipe.
He says the extra coverage is worth the extra cost.
“It’s about $35 a year for about $5,000 of coverage, and you can buy that coverage,” Kulda said.
The City of St. Louis Park said in a statement: “Council and city staff are working to fully ensure that we can provide meaningful information to residents who are attending an important meeting Monday evening, to discuss the options for providing financial relief for both mitigation and restoration. following these aqueduct breaks.
Kulda thinks that while the city thinks about what, if any, help to homeowners, insurance companies may end up forcing her hand.
“The city might think, ‘Well, if insurance has to pay for this, we won’t have to pay these claims.’ Usually when an insurance company pays a claim, and then finds out that someone else was responsible for the claim, they file what is called subrogation against the person at fault,” Kulda said. “So if the city is found liable, even though the insurance may have paid the claims initially, the city may still be liable.”
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Kulda says any homeowner who has a sub-pump in their basement should consider the additional coverage.