Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Sewer Line Repair?
A broken sewer line can cause considerable headaches and disruption to your life. When your sewer line fails, one of the first questions you will have is whether your homeowners insurance policy covers it. This plumbing emergency is not covered in many cases, so you will have to pay for the repairs or replacement out of pocket. While there are instances in which coverage may apply, we strongly recommend that homeowners concerned about their sewer line condition take proactive steps to prevent a failure and secure the required coverage should a failure occur.
Do you have questions about sewer line coverage within your homeowners insurance policy? We’re happy to answer your questions!
When Insurance Will Cover Sewer Repair
“Other Structure” Provisions: When Your Sewer Line Is Damaged by Factors Outside Your Control
“Other Structure” provisions are inserted in most homeowners insurance policies, including for the sewer line on your property, for example, from the curb or easement to your home. Suppose the sewer line is damaged by factors outside your control, such as sidewalk work performed by a city agency or HOA. In that case, it’s typically covered and subject to your policy’s deductible. However, be prepared for the insurer to shift liability and financial responsibility to the city’s or HOA’s insurance provider.
Coverage is usually limited to around 10% of your home’s insured value. So, if your home’s insured value is $200,000, then you can expect a maximum coverage of around $20,000. Again, this depends on your policy, but coverage is sufficient to cover any required sewer line repairs or replacements in most cases.
When Insurance Will Not Cover Sewer Repair
When Your Sewer Line Is Damaged by Your Own Control
Sewer line backups and damage caused by the homeowner are almost always excluded from coverage. If you dig in the yard and damage the sewer line or cause other damage that degrades or ruptures the pipes, the claim will be denied.
Further, most insurers consider physical damage to your sewer pipes to poor maintenance, faulty construction, or avoidable errors, such as not flushing baby wipes, diapers, etc., that could damage the pipe. Additionally, most policies will exclude coverage for damage caused by natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, etc.), insects, rodents, and tree roots. Finally, when it comes to sewage backups, almost all policies specifically state that this is not covered.
Sewer Line Backup Riders: An Investment in Protection
Depending on your home, a sewer line backup rider can cost anywhere from $50 to $200 a year and provide anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 or more in coverage. We strongly recommend securing this coverage as it’s a tiny investment that can easily pay for itself if your sewer line ruptures.
Preventing Sewer Line Problems
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So, in addition to securing a sewer line rider, we recommend homeowners in Pennsylvania invest in preventative sewer line maintenance. Regular inspections and comprehensive cleanings every 18 to 24 months can keep your pipes in pristine condition.
We can perform video camera inspections, hydro jetting, and other services that will keep your sewer lines stable and secure. We will also provide the thorough documentation required to establish you have contracted professional assistance from qualified sewer line professionals to perform all reasonable maintenance and care to preserve your sewer lines. Our family-owned and -operated company is proud to offer same-day service you can depend on!
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