Sump Pump Scare

Sump Pump Scare

08:26 30 May in Insurance, Personal

Is your sump pump working properly.Last weekend while was doing laundry, I noticed that our sump pump was making an unfamiliar noise. I’m used to the noise our sump pump makes when it kicks in—it’s loud and quick and over with in about 5 seconds. But this noise was different—it was much quieter and more of a constant noise. I asked my fiance to check on it, and when he opened the lid, he said our sump pump felt hot and it appeared to be smoking. He unplugged it to let it cool off. When it plugged it back it, it seemed to be working fine, but let’s face it—our home is about 11 years old, and I’m guessing our sump pump has never been replaced. We weren’t going to take any chances. Immediately the next morning (this occurred at 10 p.m. at night, so no stores were open), we went to Home Depot and bought a brand new sump pump.

This weekend’s forecast is a rough one. The National Weather Service is calling for most areas in eastern North Dakota to receive 1 to 3 inches of rain with locally higher amounts. They warn that areas that receive repeated thunderstorm events may experience flooding issues. Now’s a good time to make sure you’re covered for a big rain event like this.

First and foremost, make sure you have sump pump coverage on your homeowners policy. This is an endorsement that needs to be added and does not automatically come with homeowners insurance. Once you know you have coverage, make sure your sump pump is working so you don’t have to deal with the mess of a sump pump failure.

Here are some tips (from Travelers Insurance):

  • Check the pump at least once a year to make sure it is still in good working condition.
  • Is the sump pump plugged in?
  • Is the power cord in good shape?
  • Is the drain hose connected properly?
  • Is there any debris in the area that could clog the pump and prevent it from working properly?
  • Occasionally, pour water into the sump pit to test if the sump pump starts up automatically and quickly drains the water.
  • Since sump pumps run on electricity, consider installing a battery backup so your sump pump will not fail, even in the event of a power outage.
  • If your sump pump is not working properly, contact a professional.


As a reminder, most homeowners policies do not cover water in the basement. If you own a sump pump, consider obtaining optional coverage for water backup or sump discharge or overflow. If you have questions on sump pump coverage, call one of our offices today!