What causes sewer backup?
Home insurance is designed to protect homeowners against sudden and accidental damage, not gradual wear and tear. Sewer backups generally occur due to sewer pipes breaking down over a period of time, which is why most homeowners insurance companies won’t cover it.
There are many factors that can contribute to a sewer backup. Many homes have pipes connected to aging municipal sewage systems which are at least 30-years-old. Over time the pipes wear down and can no longer support heavy amounts of raw sewage or water. Combined pipelines, which house both rainwater and sewage, cannot always handle the amount going in them.
If your property is lined with trees, the tree roots can also seep into cracks in your pipes, causing backups over time.
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Is water damage covered by a homeowners insurance policy?
It depends on what caused the water damage. Water backup from a sewer line is unlikely to be covered. Flood damage usually requires a separate policy. Your standard homeowners policy probably only covers water damage from things like broken appliances. If you live in an area that is prone to flooding, you should consider investing in flood insurance.
What are your options?
Consider adding a sewer and drain endorsement to your homeowners insurance policy. Some insurance companies offer this for an affordable price and it can be used to cover expenses like replacing carpets and pipes after a backup. This endorsement will likely also cover sump pump failure. If you want sewer line repair to be covered, this will likely require an additional rider.
You can also purchase a standalone sewer line insurance policy. Average rates for this policy are around $10-$15 per month.
If your sewer line backs up, be prepared to clean the mess immediately. Mop your floors with disinfectant, wet-vacuum the floodwater, and flush all of your plumbing fixtures. You’ll likely have to replace damaged floor tiles and walls, along with the ductwork.
Finding the right home insurance policy can get complicated. Let an expert insurance agent make your search for homeowners insurance quick and easy. Give one a call and we will ensure you have the best home insurance policy with all the additional coverage you might need at a price you can afford.