There are very few things that homeowners insurance can cover when it comes to sewer lines. It usually covers damage to the sewer line that is caused by an unexpected event. You will need to pay for repairs or replacements if there is a sewage backup or a chronic problem.
What is homeowners insurance?
Technically speaking, the sewer line on your property is considered “other structure”, meaning that it provides the same protections and benefits as your home.
If there is an explosion in your yard that damages the sewer line, or sever, your homeowners insurance policy would cover the damage, subject to your deductible. You cannot control the source of the damage. You will need to have the damaged pipe on your property. If the pipe is damaged beyond your property line, it will fall to the entity responsible for fixing it. Most sewer line damage is preventable and therefore uninsurable.
What is the insurance coverage for your sewer line?
Standard home insurance policies will cover you for “other structures” up to 10% of the total home coverage. If your home is insured at $600,000., then ‘other structures’ such as your shed, fences, and Homeowners insurance will be covered. Does home insurance cover septic tank? You may not be covered for more than $60,000. You should check your policy to confirm. It may not cover you up to $60,000. The 10% should cover the cost. Costhelper.com data suggests that the average replacement cost for a sewer pipe is between $3,000 and $6,000.
What happens if your sewer line is not covered by insurance
Insurance will not cover the cost of repairing or replacing a sewer line that backs up into your house or is damaged by preventable causes.
Your homeowners insurance company will not pay for repairs if the damage is caused by poor maintenance, faulty construction or an error that was preventable. Your standard policy will not cover many other calamities. Floods, earthquakes, pests, and tree roots are just a few examples. Flood insurance is essential for earthquakes and floods.
Backup for sewage
Any damage to your home from sewage back-ups will not be covered by homeowners insurance policies. The insurance company will not replace anything that the water or rawsewage causes. Many causes of sewage backup can be caused by physical damage to the pipes. This could lead to a high-priced bill to replace the pipe or repair any damage.
Sewage backup endorsement
Many of our recommendations for homeowners insurance companies include an endorsement that can be added to your standard policy. This will cover damage caused by sewage back-up, but not physical damage. According to the Insurance Information Institute this endorsement typically costs $40-50 per year and provides $10,000 more coverage in case your sewer backups. The $10,000 coverage will not cover a large sewage backup. As in the case of this Oregon homeowner, a sewage back up destroyed his entire home, costing him over $300,000. We recommend that you prevent the sewage line from returning.
Service line protection endorsement
You will need to buy a service line protection endorsement if you want more coverage than your standard homeowners insurance policy for sewer lines. This endorsement is not available from all insurance companies, so it may be necessary to change insurers. We have listed the top companies that offer the highest service line protection endorsements.
Mercury’s service endorsement does not offer the same coverage options as Erie’s policyholders. Mercury will reimburse customers for lodging costs if they are forced to travel because of service line damage. Mercury will reimburse you for lodging costs while your sewer pipe is repaired, potentially saving hundreds of dollars.
How to care for your sewer line
Poor maintenance and human error are the main causes of most sewer line problems. To ensure that your sewer doesn’t back up in the future, there are many habits homeowners should follow. These are some of the habits:
- There is no need to flush non-biodegradable oils or objects
- Replacing steel pipes with plastic
- Tree roots tracking
- Regularly inspect your plumbing
Clogging is the most common reason for sewage backup. This happens when you flush objects that are not meant to be flushed. Because they can clog pipes, cooking oils are especially harmful. Because of the way they can clog pipes, paper towels can also be a problem to flush down.
If you are able to afford it, replacing your metal pipe with a plastic one will reduce the chance of tree roots getting into the pipe and causing damage. Finally, a simple inspection of your plumbing system will reveal any problems. You might find that the pipe is corroded or the valves have failed. These are costly problems, but they are much cheaper to fix than major ones.