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ACE Private Risk Services Warns Against Lack of Protection for Basement Flooding.

Insurer Recommends Sump Pump Backup System and Special Coverage for Affluent Homeowners

PHILADELPHIA -- Considering the severe storms that struck in March through May last year in many parts of the country, ACE Private Risk Services, the ACE Group's high-net-worth personal lines insurance business, encourages consumers to better protect their homes from basement flooding by installing a properly sized sump pump with a backup battery power supply. Such products could prevent or reduce water damage due to sump pump failure during intense storms, when water inflow peaks and falling trees cut power lines. Consumers should also check to see if their homeowners insurance policy will cover such losses.

For the luxury homeowners ACE Private Risk Services insures, the cost of repairs when the sump pit overflows averages $38,000 - far more than a plumbing leak ($20,000) or roof leak ($6,000). And when the sump pump stops working completely due to a power outage, the average cost increases to $50,000.

"For affluent homeowners who often turn their basements into high-tech entertainment centers, the cost of repairs due to sump pump failure can be surprisingly high. One of our clients recently suffered damages estimated at $350,000, not including the emotional impact it had on the family," said Bob Welther, Assistant Vice President, Family Safety & Security Director at ACE Private Risk Services. "While our homeowners policy covers damage when surface water from heavy rain or melting snow overwhelms the drainage system and causes the sump pit to overflow, most policies will not--unless a special endorsement has been added. And the endorsement may only cover losses up to $5,000. So it's very important for homeowners to check that adequate coverage is in place for sewer and drain backup. Otherwise, they could be exposed to significant financial risk."

Even when proper coverage is in place, the family would still have to endure the disruption of repair work and the potential loss of irreplaceable items.

To help clients avoid damage due to sump pump failure, ACE Private Risk Services has forged an ongoing relationship with Grate Products LLC to assist with sump pump backup installations. The relationship includes discounted pricing for the equipment, frequently amounting to less than the deductible amount in the homeowners policy. The system includes a backup battery power supply if the main power goes out, as well as a supplemental pump to increase overall capacity during periods of peak demand.

"Investing in water loss prevention, such as a sump pump backup system, is wise in the protection of people's homes from a financial and emotional perspective," said Mr. Welther. "In the end, everyone benefits when you take advantage of a tool that can prevent or minimize damage to your home and valuables."

About ACE Private Risk Services and the ACE Platinum Portfolio([R])

ACE Private Risk Services offers the ACE Platinum Portfolio, an insurance program specifically designed to meet the complex needs of affluent and high net worth individuals and families. The program provides specialized coverage for homes, automobiles, pleasure boats and yachts, jewelry and other valuable collections, and umbrella liability protection that offers the savings of a package discount and in most cases, the convenience of one bill. Additional information can be found at: www.aceprivateriskservices.com. Celebrating 25 years of insuring progress, the ACE Group is a global leader in insurance and reinsurance serving a diverse group of clients. Headed by ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE), a component of the S&P 500 stock index, the ACE Group conducts its business on a worldwide basis with operating subsidiaries in more than 50 countries. Additional information can be found at: www.acegroup.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1U2PA
Date:Mar 9, 2011
Words:669
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