Buying a home with a sump pump in the basement is fairly common, so you would think that if the pump failed, you'd be able to file a claim with your homeowner's insurance. After all, sump pumps are necessary appliances in many places, so it's not like you've installed a risky piece of equipment that is more likely to harm your home. However, sump pumps and the damage that can happen when they fail are not usually covered by plain homeowner's insurance. You have to ensure you have the right type of insurance and get the pump inspected frequently to reduce the chances of ending up in a tight spot.
Sump pumps are like floods -- you think they're covered until you find out they're not. If you are buying a home with a sump pump, call your insurance company and get two things: flood insurance and a special sump pump rider that attaches to your regular homeowner's insurance. With these two policies, you can increase your chances of getting reimbursement for any damage caused by a malfunctioning sump pump.
And the damage can be severe. Not only can you have the immediate problems of a broken appliance (the pump) and flooding damage to your basement floor and walls, but you can have water damage to your foundation and mold damage later on. This is not a situation where saving on your insurance premiums will benefit you -- one sump pump problem and all those premium savings could be wiped out. Spend the money on the premiums and save yourself financially when you have to call sump pump contractors out to wade through your flooded basement.
In addition to getting adequate insurance, get the pump inspected frequently. There is always the chance that something unexpected can happen to the pump that an inspection would never have predicted. However, by having the pump regularly checked out by knowledgeable sump pump contractors, you can ward off many problems because the contractors can spot issues as they are just starting -- when they're still minor and easier to fix.
It's crucial that you ensure the pump is in as good a condition as possible. If the contractors catch even one problem, that's one problem that can't continue to get worse until it causes you and your home an even bigger problem.
Talk to sump pump and damage contractors, like those at Always Dry Basement Waterproofing, about service contracts to ensure your home's sump pump stays in good shape.