Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover My Sewer Line?

Jan 22, 2021 | Personal Insurance

You may ask if your sewer lines are also included in your homeowners’ insurance. In this article, we will discuss if sewer lines are also included in homeowners insurance. Come on, let’s all find out! We hope you will learn more about insurance specifically homeowners insurance through this write-up.

Home Sewage Systems

A lot of homes are connected to a local water and sewer system. However, most people are not aware of where the utility company’s responsibility ends, and the homeowners’ begins. In reality, most basic problems with these systems are not actually covered by homeowners insurance which can lead to unexpected and unnecessary bills when something gets destroyed.

First things first, what Is homeowners insurance, and what does it cover?

Homeowners insurance offers financial protection for both your home and personal belongings. Before availing of this insurance from us, we greatly suggest learning the basics of what homeowners insurance is and what are the things it covers. We will discuss everything about homeowners insurance in this written article.

What is homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance is composed of coverages that may help you repair or replace your home and personal properties if they are damaged by certain perils like fire or theft. It can also help you cover the costs if you accidentally damage another person’s property or in case a visitor is injured at your own home.

What does homeowners insurance cost?

The expenses of homeowners insurance depend on different factors such as the coverages you choose, the features of your home, and the value of your personal belongings. There may also be extra expenses for additional coverage or increased coverage limits. Our agents can help you choose the coverage that certainly fits your needs and we can also help you decide if you are qualified for any policy discounts.

What does homeowners insurance cover?

Homeowners insurance typically helps cover:

  • Your dwelling
  • Personal property
  • Other structures on your property
  • Injuries or damage to someone else’s property liability

You also have a chance to purchase additional coverages for greater protection. Normal homeowners insurance policies offer coverage for damage due to fires, lightning strikes, windstorms, and hail. However, it is important to note that not all-natural disasters are covered by homeowners insurance. One example is damage caused by earthquakes and floods. These are not usually covered by homeowners insurance. Another example is damage to your sewer lines. These are not covered by homeowners insurance. Separate insurance policies can be purchased to help for your home and personal properties’ protection against those kinds of risks.

Dwelling protection

One of the standard coverages of a homeowners insurance policy is dwelling protection which helps you cover the structure of your home. For instance, this covers your house’s foundation, walls, and roof. This may also help you cover structures that are attached to the home such as your garage or a deck against some certain risks.

Other structures protection

Most homeowners insurance policies also include coverage for other structures that are included in your property but separate from your main houses, such as a detached garage, tool shed, or fence.

Personal property protection

Homeowners’ insurance may also cover your personal belongings that can be found on your property. It can help cover your electronics in case they were stolen from your home or if your furniture is damaged by a fire. Personal property protection may help you pay to repair or replace your belongings in case they are damaged or destroyed by a covered risk. A lot of insurance companies offer optional coverages that may further help protect your own property. One example is you may be able to get extended coverage for your items such as jewelry, watches, or furs that are valued above your limit for personal property coverage.

Liability protection

A basic homeowners insurance policy also offers liability coverage when someone not living with you is injured while they’re on your property. For example, in case your visitor trips over your broken porch step, bodily injury liability coverage may help cover your legal expenses or the visitor’s medical bills if you are found at fault. By also adding a personal umbrella policy, you may also be able to increase your liability coverage limits. Our agents can explain what other options are available to you.

Coverage limits and deductibles

We suggest taking note that each coverage in a homeowners insurance policy is subject to a limit. The limit is the maximum amount that your policy would pay toward a covered loss. You also have the chance to adjust your coverage limits to your needs. You also have to take into account the value of your home and belongings and how much it would cost to repair or replace them in case they are damaged or destroyed by a covered risk. In most usual cases, you will normally have to pay your deductible before your insurance benefits take place to help you cover a loss.

Carefully read your policy or contact us to review your coverage limits and deductibles. You can normally adjust them to fit your needs. The help that you will get from a homeowners insurance policy may serve as a safety net if the unexpected happens. Our local agents can help you choose the kinds of coverage and limits that fit and also make sense for you.

Is sewer line replacement covered by homeowners insurance?

Homeowners have a lot of risks to worry about. However, possible problems with sewage are often overlooked. Some property owners are not aware of sewage and water pipe responsibilities that extend beyond the walls of their houses even though they usually consider risks caused by faulty or failed plumbing systems.

Damaged sewage systems can cause huge losses that destroy floors, furniture, walls, and belongings. To make it even worse, sewage calamities often further harm households and leave homeowners with bills for sewage cleanup, structural repairs, and pipe replacement. You can safeguard yourself from possible financial losses by adding sewer line insurance to your homeowners’ coverage.

Is sewer line insurance also included in homeowners insurance?

Sewer line insurance which is also called water backup or sewer backup coverage is unfortunately not included in most standard homeowners insurance policies. However, most huge insurance companies of the said coverage as a rider to home policies.

Should I get sewer backup coverage?

Homeowners are responsible for the pipe/s that connect/s their home’s water system to the sewer main. This also includes the parts of the pipe that run into the road near the curb of their own homes or any public right of way.

However, some homeowners are not aware of this responsibility and would forego buying sewer backup coverage when they purchase a home insurance policy.

Homeowners who do not have sewer line insurance can face massive expenses if a sewer pipe gets destroyed. If your home is located on a wooded lot, you have a basement or you have an older home with original pipes, you will need sewer backup coverage. Take also into consideration that even newer homes can face serious risks of sewer line damage which makes it necessary for all homeowners to purchase this essential coverage.

Considerations when adding on sewer backup coverage

All kinds of homeowners can take advantage of the protection the sewer backup coverage offers. However, it’s also important to know the kind of coverage you need and what it will and will not cover.

Most standard insurance policies won’t cover damage too caused by floods. If you live in an area prone to flooding, you can purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. However, flood insurance will not cover your sewer lines or damages caused by sewage line backups.

A lot of companies offer home service contracts that include sewer line repair service. Some providers of home services have different offers for interior electric lines, power surges, water heater repair and replacement, and water line services. Some companies even offer emergency plumbing services. Together with sewer line insurance, a home service agreement can offer complete protection for your home and personal belongings.

Even though a lot of these companies offer great services, some of them cannot provide the protection of adding sewer line coverage for a homeowners policy. Let’s say, a home service agreement may offer you a policy limit for sewer line protection but will not pay for any damages caused by sewage inside your home, this includes interior or your personal belongings. We greatly suggest carefully read each insurance company’s policy before you sign those documents.

Buying water backup insurance does not relieve you of the responsibility of proper home maintenance. If an insurance adjuster decides that neglect or irresponsible use caused a sewer line loss, the insurance company may deny your claim.

To avoid a sewer backup claim denial:

  • Do not pour used cooking oil or kitchen grease down your sink/drains.
  • Do not flush non-biodegradable wastes such as diapers, facial wipes, feminine hygiene products, or paper towels down toilets.
  • Do not connect your flood control system/s (including sump pumps) to your sewer line.
  • Make sure to elevate basement appliances and valuables as a preventive measure for possible damage in the event of water or sewage backup.
  • Make sure that your basement sump pumps are in good working order by cleaning them yearly and running them several times per year.
  • Fit your sump pump with a battery backup to make sure that it can continue to work during power outages.
  • Installing a backwater prevention valve in your sewer line can help avoid water backups.

This valve will make sure that sewage flows out and prevents it from going into your home.

  • Remove trees and/or shrubs whose roots might ruin or damage your waterline.
  • Consider replacing your sewer line with plastic pipes as a preventive measure for root damage if you have an older home.

If a sewage or water backup occurs, act quickly to prevent any further damage to your home, and make sure to note the following:

  • Remove standing water with a wet vac. Hire a sewage cleanup service in the event that raw sewage backs up into your home.
  • Residual water should be mopped up on all affected floors and walls with disinfectant and soap.
  • Removed dirty and wet draperies, carpet, and furniture.
  • Remove debris from ductwork to prevent obstructed airflow. Affected ductwork should be cleaned with disinfectant and soap.

Most times, you can detect sewage problems before disaster comes. Common signs of sewage issues include:

  • Kitchen, sink, or tub has water backup when flushing a toilet
  • Lingering odors
  • Slow draining sinks
  • Recurring toilet backups
  • Recessed areas or places in your yard above or near a sewer pipe where there is a sudden appearance of unevenness or even holes
  • Cracks in your home’s foundation could indicate a water or sewer pipe leak
  • A hole in the sewer pipe can also be a way for rodents to enter your home

If you see these signs, we greatly suggest getting a professional to evaluate your home. Do not wait for the worst things to come before you purchase sewer line insurance.

How much does sewer line insurance cost

If your sewer line on your property backs up or breaks, it could send raw sewage into your home. This can ruin the flooring, walls, and furniture. Repairing or replacing a sewer can cost you between $50 and $200 per foot. Replacing the full length of your sewer line can cost you as much as $30,000. On the other hand, you’ll pay $7 or more per square foot in cleanup costs if sewage backs up into your home. This single sewage incident can cost you a small fortune if you add the costs of replacing your furniture, flooring, and sheetrock.

The costs of sewer line insurance differ depending on the kind of coverage you buy. Some utility companies offer water and sewer line coverage for a few dollars per month.

There are insurance providers who offer coverage for water backup coverage as homeowners insurance riders for as low as $50 a year with approximately around $10,000 in coverage.

What does a typical sewer line policy cover?

Sewer line coverage differs depending on the kind of policy you buy. Some insurance cover the following:

  • Backfilling holes in lawns
  • Clogs and blockages
  • Excavating
  • Equipment rentals
  • Inspection fees
  • Lawn reseeding

However, sewage line coverage offered by home insurance companies often offers the most complete protection. A lot of insurance companies offer service line packages that go beyond just water backup coverage.

The takeaway

  • Sewer line insurance is important coverage for all homeowners and its affordable expenses can help you avoid huge expenses out of your own pockets.
  • Sewer insurance is additional coverage but indeed worth paying for.

It can provide you good financial sense if you protect your home with sewer line coverage. You can add this to your basic homeowners’ policy or buy it as a standalone policy. A sewage problem might turn your life into a living nightmare and your home may be uninhabitable if you will not purchase a sewer line coverage. In older homes, old sewage pipes can get destroyed and homes with basements can run a serious risk of sewage and water backups. However, the sewer line in newer homes can face equal risks from the tree roots and unsatisfactory street construction.

A lot of huge home insurance companies offer sewer line coverage as an add-on to basic homeowners policies. You can also buy a standalone policy from companies that also provide different home repair services or basic pipe coverage from your own municipal utility company.

Service Line Coverage

A lot of things happen behind the scenes to keep your home working and connected to the outside world. Thinking about your home’s underground utility line such as water lines, sewer pipes, and power lines may skip your mind.  However, they play a huge role in your everyday life. You’re often tasked with fixing these utilities when they are damaged or destroyed even when your city or town provides services to you. When a service interruption happens, repairs can, of course, can cost you a lot of money.

What is service line coverage?

If there is an instance that a tree root grew through your sewer pipe on your property and it caused a leak, you would need to hire a professional to dig up and replace the destroyed pipe. It could cost you thousands of dollars out of your own pocket for repairs depending on how long the pipe is. Insurance companies will help you pay for the expenses to repair or replace damaged service lines. Another good benefit to this coverage is if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a service line failure, we’ll help you cover the expenses to stay in a hotel while you wait for the damages to be cleaned up and get the repairs done.

What does service line insurance cover?

Coverage is given for pipes or wires that are planted underground that gives the following services to your location such as electrical power, heating, natural gas, waste disposal, compressed air, water, steam, internet access, telecommunications services, wide area networks, or data transmission. However, service lines that are not underground are not covered by this insurance. Here’s a list covered by service line insurance:

  • Wear and tear
  • Rust, corrosion, decay, and deterioration
  • Hidden or latent defect
  • Freeze
  • Collapse
  • Electrical breakdown
  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Pressure system breakdown

Sewer Line Insurance

If the sewer line from the city sewer main to your residence collapses due to deterioration. The expenses to excavate, repair the sewer line, and backfill may be covered by this insurance.

How do service lines become damaged?

It’s not always the case that a strong pipe buried several feet underground would be safe from harm and will not be destroyed. Below are problems that may take several years to take place but can possibly lead to wearing off the service line, breakage, and service line failure ultimately. Here are the following ways service lines can be damaged.

Frost heave and line freezing

Rainwater that saturated the soil around your home can freeze at the surface as the fall turns into winter. This phenomenon of expansion of ice can cause your sewer lines to pull upwards. The effects can have a huge impact on the pipes that are buried in your yard. When this kind of phenomenon is present on your property, it is essential to be aware and also know how to inspect your foundation for signs of damage.

Corrosion and rust

In the long run, iron and steel-based sewer lines can oxidize and corrode. Small holes develop and fluid can leak out that could further lead to the eroding of the pipe.

Root and tree invasion

Tree roots that are near to your yard may be attracted to an active leak in your sewer line. Small tendrils of roots can invade tiny cracks in your pipes and can further crack them open in the long run as the roots continue to grow.

Line collapse from above grade items

If there is a case that a heavy tree falls across your front yard, the force alone can sometimes be enough to break buried sewer lines. Sometimes, heavy moving vehicles that are parked on the grass are also enough to destroy these lines. Landscaping accidents such as them can usually crash sewer lines.

Rodents can destroy your sewer lines

Rodents such as rats can cause some serious damage to your sewer lines. They’re known for building nests in your sewer lines and even chewing directly into PVC.

Stray electrical current

Curving from worn-out underground wiring can melt plastic service lines and degrade metal and iron pipes.

What does service line coverage cost?

The small expense of service line insurance can really pay off in case you need to repair or replace a damaged line. After you have paid the deductible, you will be covered up to the limit of the policy. Coverage is easy to reach or affordable for you with additional service line coverage which would only cost you about $20 yearly.

Is Water, Sewer, and Power Line Insurance Necessary? Do You Need It?

It’s a wise choice to add this kind of coverage to your policy if you take the high costs of these kinds of repairs into consideration. And of course, it’s affordable! It’s also often less than a dine out with your family each time your policy is up for renewal.

FAQ

Does my local district ever pay for service line damage on my property?

In most instances, the homeowner will be responsible for funding any kinds of service line work done within the perimeter of your property. With our added service line insurance, you will be covered for more issues and problems than any standard homeowners policy can also afford to cover.

How would I know if my service line is damaged?

You will know that your service line is damaged if it’s taking a long time to drain your water after you take a bath or if your toilets are no longer flushing well. When your sewer lines are damaged, the flow will decrease and can even stop everything.

A plumber checked our sewer line and found a tree root that has almost completely blocked the water flow. Am I covered with sewer line insurance?

Absolutely, yes. After you pay for a deductible, you’ll be covered up to the policy limit. Without this additional coverage, you could possibly pay thousands out of your own pocket.

What kinds of buried lines are covered other than my sewer line?

You’ll be also covered for underground piping or wiring that provides electrical power, heating, natural gas, waste disposal, compressed air, water, steam, internet access, telecommunications services, wide area networks, or data transmission services to your home.

What would be the average cost for a service line repair or replacement?

Expenses can be higher since accessing a buried sewer or service line requires heavy earthmoving equipment. Most service line repairs can range from $3,000 – $5,000.

Other Important Information You Need To Know About Sewer Line Insurance

What does sewer line insurance cover?

Replacing a sewer line can cost you thousands of dollars. Septic systems age as they can crack and leak. In this case that this happens, lines can be clogged and wastewater could back up into your home that can lead to more expensive water damage as well as possibly exposing your family members to dangerous health risks.

Damage to your sewer lines can cause you inconvenience and high costs repairs after water damage. A number of problems you may encounter are damage to a sewer line including blockage and back-up of indoor toilets and other plumbing fixtures, a foul sewer gas odor in your own home, blocked drains, mold, outdoor water leaks on your lawn, pools of septic water in your yard, sinkholes, rodent or insect infestations and cracks in your foundation.

No one, of course, wants to deal with all the inconvenience and expenses without having a plan in place. You have a few choices when it comes to buying a sewer line protection plan.

You may be able to add coverage by an endorsement which is also called a rider to the policy to cover sewer backup since a lot of homeowners insurance policies do not include coverage for sewer lines.

Why you should get it:

  • A lot of homeowners insurance policies do not include sewer coverage automatically. However, they can be added with an endorsement or rider.
  • Septic tanks can get destroyed. They can crack and leak as they age that could cause water to back up into your home that would further cause mold damage and foul smells.
  • Damaged sewer lines can be expensive and inconvenient to repair so getting insurance can help you.

What a policy typically covers

The insurance company will schedule a repair for you whenever you experience damage to your sewer line or damage caused by sewer backup if you purchase the sewer line coverage.

Before signing for the insurance you will purchase, we greatly suggest to check and see what the policy covers and the policy exclusions. Kindly also take note that hurricanes or floods are not covered in this kind of insurance.

Sewer protection insurance should provide coverage for:

  • Locating a blockage or sewer line collapse
  • Any excavation costs to expose damaged pipes
  • Pipe replacement or repair
  • Unblocking sewer lines
  • Repairing or replacing damaged seals and joints
  • Fitting of external vales
  • Fusing
  • Welding
  • Pipe Cutting
  • Backfilling if any areas or locations are disturbed by repairs

A lot of sewer line insurance companies use local and licensed sewer line professionals to perform repairs. The repairs are guaranteed to be done and usually, you will sign a form saying you are satisfied with the repair work that has been done on your own sewer line.

Important to take note:

You need regular inspections and pumping will help keep your septic system in good working condition. Pumping removes buildup and mud which will keep your septic system from operating normally and properly.

The bottom line

Every one of us has a possible risk of having to replace sewer lines and the expense to replace these lines and cover any damage caused by water backup can be very expensive. You will have to, however, have to weigh your pros and cons and decide if this insurance is right for your home.

If it will cost you thousands of dollars to replace or repair damage from sewer line backup and can cause a financial burden for you, you may want to consider either adding an endorsement to your homeowners’ insurance policy or purchasing a specialized policy covering your sewer lines.

Ask us any questions

We hope that you have learned about homeowners and sewer line insurance a lot through this article. If you have any clarifications or burning questions in mind, please do not hesitate to ask us and contact us by calling us or sending us an email. You may also find our contact information on this website. You may read about homeowners insurance and other kinds of insurance on this site. Don’t hesitate to check out our website for more information. We hope to hear from you soon. Have a great day!