Covering Additional Damage With Sewer Line Replacement Insurance
As mentioned already, there will likely be additional damage to your home resulting from a broken sewer line.
As a broken line gets clogged by dirt, roots, and debris, youll get sewage backed up into your home, leading to health hazards, water damage, and contaminants that may increase structural damage.
Your policy may cover this type of damage, but in many cases, you may be required to purchase add-on coverage such as sewer and drain backup endorsements.
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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Replacing A Broken Sewer Line
Homeowner’s insurance covers the cost of fixing many of the problems that can arise in an aging home. It may cover water damage caused by a leaky roof, damage to interior pipes that burst due to age or poor insulation, and fire damage caused by faulty electrical wiring. While every policy is different, most homeowner’s insurance policies pay for some costs associated with faulty interior plumbing and electrical wiring. Depending upon the policy, problems with exterior plumbing and wiring may or may not be covered.
If the broken sewer line in question is an underground pipe that connects to the main municipal line in your neighborhood, your insurance company will want to know where exactly the break occurred. It is unlikely to cover a break that occurs outside of the “footprint” of your home’s foundation under any circumstances. If the break occurred within the home’s foundation, it may be covered.
In general, homeowner’s insurance covers issues that can be traced to non-negligent damages. This typically excludes the effects of normal aging and “wear and tear.” Before approving or denying your claim, your claims adjuster will want to know the rough age of the pipe. He or she will also examine the length of the pipe to check for other signs of aging like rust or thinning. He or she may also look for loose joints and other signs of faulty workmanship. Finally, your claims adjuster will look for signs of weathering caused by poor or missing insulation.
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Some Sewer Line Damage Is Covered By Insurance
In rare cases, the damage caused to a sewer line might be covered by insurance.
The portion of the sewer line that is on your property is considered an other structure, and would be covered under that part of your basic policy, depending on what caused the damage.
Damage caused by something out of your control or an Act of God, also known as a force majeure event, would be covered as long as its not specifically excluded from your policy . So, if lightning strikes your yard and causes damage to your sewer line, that damage would likely be covered by your homeowners insurance.
Because force majeure events are out of human control, they are often covered by insurance, but its important to read your policy and understand exactly what it covers. An Act of God doesnt excuse a homeowner from maintaining their property. So if a storm causes a dead or diseased tree on your property to fall and that damages the sewer line, an insurer might find that the cause of the damage wasnt the storm its the tree that should have been removed as part of maintaining the property.
Tips On How To Maintain Your Sewer Line
Know where your sewer lines are located.
Don’t plant trees and shrubbery near your sewer line.
Don’t park any vehicles over the sewer line and don’t store anything heavy over the sewer line the weight may damage the pipes below.
Avoid flushing anything other than human waste and toilet paper.
Avoid pouring grease down a drain.
Consider replacing metal pipes with plastic.
Check your plumbing by a professional annually
Do you need endorsements added to your homeowners insurance coverage for sewer line replacement? You can get a free quote by using an online insurance comparison tool like Smart Financial. We’ll provide you with quotes from local insurance companies within your area. You can select the insurer that matches your needs and your budget. Just enter your zip code below.
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Replace Your Homes Old Plumbing
If your homes plumbing is visibly old and is showing signs of wear and tear, youre better off replacing it before there are any issues. If youre on the fence about whether you should pay to have your entire plumbing system overhauled, make an appointment with a home inspector. They will be able to give you a professional recommendation about what to do.
How To Prevent Sewer Line Damage
The best way to protect your sewer lines from damage is to maintain them and prevent the kinds of damage that a standard policy wonât insure. To prevent a sewer backup :
Properly dispose of grease and paper products
Snip your tree roots every now and then
Hire a plumber to fix any faulty plumbing connections and unclog your lines
Consider installing a backflow prevention device
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Are Tree Roots In A Sewer Line Covered By Insurance
Not usually. While insurance may help cover damage to your property caused by tree roots, it generally won’t cover costs associated specifically with the sewer lines. For example, if water released from the cracked line causes damage to your property, your insurance may cover the cost to repair damage caused by the water but not to repair the pipe.
In some cases, tree root damage may be considered to be sudden and accidental it’s a good idea to consult your policy provider to determine if that is the case. Either way, it’s important to periodically check to see if any roots are encroaching on your system .
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.
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What Does Sewer Backup Coverage Include
Sewer backup insurance typically covers damage to the sewer line running from your house to the city main. It also covers the expense of having standing sewage removed from your house and repairing the damage caused by it, up to coverage limits. Do bear in mind that sewer backup insurance does not cover a faulty or damaged plumbing system in your house this is sometimes included in a standard dwelling coverage but could vary by provider.
Sewer backup insurance may also not cover damages that happen gradually over time due to lack of maintenance. Some providers may also not cover standing sewage on your property if it was the fault of your municipality and not your own sewer system. Make sure to read the fine print before you purchase sewer backup coverage so you are clear on the circumstances that it applies to.
Sewer backup coverage is also distinctly different from flood insurance, which is a separate form of insurance and not included in a standard homeowners insurance policy. Sewer backup flooding as a cause of loss is directly tied to the septic system and would not be accounted for in your flood insurance. Flood damage not related to your sewer lines or septic system is not covered by your sewer backup insurance.
Service Line Coverage From The Stoop To The Curb
At Erie Insurance,we dont think its right that homeowners need to buy utility service contractsoffered by multiple companies in order to avoid costly repairs to underground servicelines. So we did something about it.
When youpurchase the Plus or Select bundle with your ErieSecure® homeownersinsurance, you wont be stuck footing the bill for damage to your undergroundlines.1 Thats because these enhanced bundles include coverage for damage to underground piping and wiring that provide essential services to yourhome. You get coverage for damage to underground:
- Cable lines
- Sewer pipes
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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Tree Roots In Sewer Line
Even though most homeowners prefer to have trees in their yard due to its many benefits such as providing shade, privacy, and an increase in their property value, they should also be aware of the potential damages and unforeseen expenses it could cause to their property. One might ask, but how could an innocent tree damage my property?
It may seem unlikely for some but tree roots could damage the sewer line, which is the line that connects the plumbing in your home to the mainline under the street. There are two usual problems that homeowners encounter with their sewer line: cracks and clogs. While clogs can be prevented or anticipated, tree roots are the most common cause of cracked or clogged pipes. Yes, there are also proactive plumbers who could anticipate these problems, however, it is not every \day that we can find one.
That is why it is important to consider when your home insurance would cover the tree roots damages and when it cannot which actually depends on several factors . Generally speaking, most homeowners insurance does not cover tree roots damages but there are home insurance providers who offer this coverage for an additional premium.
What Does Sewer Line Insurance Cover
Sewer lines can fail over time, either collapsing, becoming clogged or invaded by roots. The problem may cost hundreds to fix if it can be repaired from above ground.
If the problem requires digging and line replacement, you can expect to pay thousands to fix your sewer line if you dont have coverage.
There are a few considerations before buying coverage. Most home insurance policies dont cover damage from sewer backup. Often, this is available as an add-on and is separate from coverage for sewer lines themselves.
A smaller group of insurers also offer service line endorsements, add-ons that provide coverage for sewer line failures which expand your home insurance coverage. Specialized coverage for sewer line protection is also available from a number of dedicated providers or home warranty companies.
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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 persons property or in case a visitor is injured at your own home.
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Does Homeowners Insurance Include Sewer Backup Coverage
No, a standard home insurance policy does not include sewer backup coverage. Some insurance companies do offer water or sewer backup as an endorsement or rider, but coverage limits may be insufficient to cover an expensive loss. Insurers may even sell sewer backup as a separate policy, but those cover just the lines themselves and do not provide financial protection for your home in the event of a backup. If the sewer backup is the result of a problem with a line that belongs to the city or simply because of lack of maintenance, your insurance provider may refuse to cover that.
Home insurance policies typically cover sudden and unexpected plumbing damages, such as a burst or leaking pipe or a broken faucet. However, the coverage often does not extend to the sewage system. Sewer coverage typically has to be added to your policy as an add-on coverage, endorsement or rider.
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
- 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.
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What If Your Insurance Covers The Pipe Breakage
If your insurance company covers the pipe breakage, they will send an inspector to access the situation. Your plumber can only answer the questions, this doesnt mean that the insurance company will buy those answers. They have their way of inspection, and they will certainly check if you were responsible or nature was.
Even if the plumber told you that you can file a claim about the damage, here area few things that you should keep in mind.
Most rusty and thin pipes are a red flag. The insurance company will completely deny insurance for them.
Pipes that are in deteriorating condition are also a big no. So go for a timely sewerline replacement. Otherwise, the insurance company will hold you responsible that you didnt get it fixed on time.
If the pipes were clogged from your end, i.e., they were clogged because of some item from your house, the insurance company can deny the claim as well.
If the pipe was burst because of tree roots inside it, then this part is covered in the preventable damage clause in your home insurance policy fine print.
Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Sewer Line Repair
If youre wondering whether or not sewer line replacement is covered by homeowners insurance, you may not like the answer. Unfortunately, its rare that homeowners insurance will cover the sewer line repair or replacement unless it was damaged by another party or an act of God .
It also does not make a difference if its a full replacement or a spot repair. If the line is damaged because its old or because of normal wear after several years, the insurer wont honor your claim.
There are some websites online that claim you will be covered if a pipe abruptly springs a leak. This may be theoretically true, but leaks are rarely sprung abruptly. They are most often caused by aging damage that occurs over the course of time .
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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 homes 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.
There’s A Difference Between A Slow Leak And A Burst Pipe
Cold weather has caused a pipe to burst in your home, and water has ruined your wood floors. Will homeowners insurance cover pipe replacement? It depends on your policy.
Water damage may be covered under homeowners’ insurance, but it depends largely on the nature of the aquatic mishap. If the damage occurs as a result of something sudden or unforeseenlike a broken pipe, a leaking air conditioning unit, or a malfunctioning washing machinethe policy typically covers it.
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When Does Home Insurance Cover Sewer Line Replacement
Sewer lines are typically covered in two specific ways when uncontrollable natural forces or acts caused by others occur and damage or destroy them. Getting to the bottom of how the problem occurred is the only way to understand if your insurance company will cover you when you file a claim.
Here are a few examples of acts of God that are covered by your homeowners insurance sewer line protection:
- A tree falls in your yard and ruptures your sewer line.
- Large hailstones destroy a sewer line buried in the back yard.
- Lightning strikes an object on your property and a resulting fire damages the sewer line.
These are a few examples of acts caused by others that are usually covered by a standard homeowners policy:
- An out-of-control vehicle strikes your property and breaks the sewer line.
- Vandals start a fire in your yard and the damage destroys your sewer line.
- A neighbor is trimming a tree and a branch falls on your property, crushing the sewer line.
Homeowners insurance coverage can help cover the costs of sewer line replacement under certain circumstances. But to be sure that youve got the coverage you need, you may want to pick up additional service line coverage, which includes sewer and other service line protection. It covers a wider array of issues and losses more than just your sewer line. Youll get coverage for buried water and natural gas lines and electric cables among others.