Insurance for sewer backups - illustration of smelly sewage backed up onto homes front yard

Are Sewer Backups Covered By Insurance?

Although many homeowners think their insurance policies cover sewer backups, they are disappointed when they find out the hard way that sewer backups are not covered.

However, there is separate coverage available for this type of problem. Compared to the cost of dealing with a major sewer backup, the cost for this additional coverage is small.

Homeowners must maintain and repair the part of the pipeline that connects pipes in their homes to main sewer lines. The parts that connect them are also included.

Here’s what you need to know to prevent this from happening to you.

What Causes Sewer Backup?

Since a backup can be very costly and messy to deal with, it is important for homeowners to know how to prevent a sewer backup and to understand what causes them. Unless you purchase a separate sewer backup insurance policy, you could be on the hook for any of these issues:

Tree Roots Interfering with Pipelines

Since trees live on water, their roots typically move toward water sources such as sewer lines. The growth may only start as a few small roots penetrating the pipeline. However, the result is the roots growing thicker and expanding over time. Therefore, insurance for sewer backups can save you from a costly repair.

When a tree root grows so much it spans the inside of the pipeline, it may cause a major blockage or a total clog. If the roots causing the problems are from trees that the city owns, it is important to contact the city’s cleanup department promptly.

In most cases, the city will sample the roots to determine who owns the tree and who is responsible for the cleanup bill. If it involves multiple trees that the homeowner and the city both own, the two parties often must split the cleanup bill.

Insurance for sewer backup tree roots in main line sewer pipe
Your homeowner’s insurance will generally not include coverage of tree roots in a sewer line unless you add a separate policy.

Sewer Line Blockages

In the sewer line, there are many different types of possible blockages. These clogs or blockages cause sewage to back up into the home. And that’s when it becomes both a health issue and an added cost to the already expensive sewer line repair — for professional cleanup and water damage restoration.

Since the occurrence is gradual, there is still time to call a plumbing specialist before your house completely floods with sewage. There may be water coming in through the basement when this happens. If water is coming in, call the public works office promptly.

insurance for sewer backups -grease buildup in sewer line
If a sewer line backup occurs due to grease buildup, it probably won’t be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Make sure your policy includes insurance for a sewer backup of this kind.

Rain Clogging Storm Sewers

If a storm sewer cannot contain the falling rain, a sanitary sewer backup can happen.

When this occurs, water usually comes into the home through bathtubs, toilets, and sump pump wells located in the basement. Times like this is when insurance for sewer backups can really come in handy. Damage is normally confined to the basement but can also be in other parts of the home. Making sure there is a sump pump and generator available will help prevent the problem.

insurance for sewer backups - residential street flooded by stormwater drain backup
Stormwater drains on residential streets can backup and cause serious damage to local homes and properties. Make sure your coverage includes insurance for this kind of sewer backup.

Insurance for Sewer Backups: Is it Worth It?

Yes, insurance for sewer backups is worth it for the vast majority of homeowners.

Sewer pipeline backups can be very expensive to deal with. Standing water and sewage are health hazards and can destroy almost everything they come into contact with in the home.

Do this exercise to determine if it’s right for your specific situation.

  • Calculate the cost to replace items that would likely be damaged in your home from a sewer backup.
  • Consider everything from cost to excavate, repair, and replace the sewer line to all the expenses for restoring your basement or home to its previous condition.
  • Now compare that number to the cost of purchasing additional insurance for a sewer backup (talk to your agent to get a range of costs). I think you’ll see what a great investment it is in your home, health, and peace of mind.
sewerline backup floods basement
A sewer backup into your house, or on your property, is considered a major flood and water damage disaster. A professional plumber and water damage restoration company will be needed immediately.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, without proper insurance that covers sewer line damage, backups, and flooding, your home is in peril. Overall, the cost of these types of damages can be tens of thousands of dollars (or higher). The expense can literally bankrupt many homeowners and put them out of their homes.

Call 1-Tom-Plumber

Don’t hesitate to contact us here or call us at 1-Tom-Plumber (1-866-758-6237) if you have a sewer line problem like sewage backup.

1-Tom-Plumber’s certified team of plumbers and drain technicians respond immediately to any emergency plumbing, drain cleaning, or water damage problem. We also handle the excavation of underground water lines and sewer main lines. Our immediate-response team is available every day and night of the year, even on holidays.

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