This is a lesson I learned the hard way.
This past Spring we got a lot of rain in my town, this caused a lot of flooding in various areas. Though my area didn't exactly flood, the next worse thing happened.
After a pretty strong rainstorm I forgot to check my sump pump and we left the house to run some errands on a Saturday morning. While we were out, the sump pump stopped working and our entire basement was flooded with water.
Thankfully, when we bought the house, the insurance agent recommended the extra "sump pump failure" coverage. However, I never checked how much coverage it was.
Fast forward to today and we have had the basement professionally cleaned and are replacing most of the flooring (except some tiles).
The thing is, my insurance approved me for a payout of close to $8,500, however our maximum payout was only $5000 so we ended up getting $2,500 less than we could have after our deductible.
The cleaning itself was around $3200 so we were left with almost enough to purchase the flooring materials, I will be having to learn how to install it though as we don't have enough money to pay someone to do it.
The lesson I got from this is to check your coverage and make sure you are properly insured. Sump pump backups are fairly common occurrences and I should have taken that into consideration.
The guy from the cleaning company says he always recommends people up their sump pump failure coverage as most finished basements have about $30K of materials.
Needless to say I have now upped that coverage to $25,000 on our insurance but while I hope the sump pump doesn't back up again, I have to say for the extra $80 a year the higher coverage is, it would have been worth it to have done it sooner.
(PS. I forgot to mention, but thankfully we didn't have a lot of stuff in the basement so we really didn't lose any personal belongings. My sisters were renting the basement rooms from me and they had just moved out their stuff about 3 days prior)