Sewer repair can be costly, so it makes sense that you’d hope your homeowner’s insurance policy could cover some of the costs. Unfortunately, most insurance policies do not cover most sewer repairs. However, there are exceptions. Read on to learn about the basics of insurance coverage for sewers, but remember to check your specific policy before you make any decisions.

How Insurance Companies See Sewer Problems

For most homeowners, sewer problems are sudden. Yesterday, your sewer was working perfectly fine. Today, you suddenly have a smelly flood in your yard, or sewer water backing up into your bathtub.

But, insurance companies realize that many sewer problems happen slowly, as a part of expected wear-and-tear. After all, you don’t expect your pipes to last forever, so keeping them in proper order and replacing them is your responsibility.

Almost all homeowner’s insurance policies include a clause that states they will not cover the costs of repairing a sewer backup or even the costs of water damage from the backup. Sewer backups are, after all, either the result of putting something down your drain which you shouldn’t, or long-term failure to maintain the sewers.

When Might Insurance Cover Sewer Repair?

That being said, insurance companies recognize that some sudden damage to your sewers is outside of your control and not a part of normal wear-and-tear. Sometimes a policy will cover your sewer replacement if the following caused it:

  • Explosions
  • Riots/vandalism
  • Falling trees
  • Aircraft crashes

What about natural disasters, like floods and earthquakes? Some policies have clauses that exclude coverage for sewer damages from these natural disasters. Others will cover them. For us in California, it’s especially important to know if your policy covers earthquake damage, as they are common and can wreck your sewers. We suggest you confirm this with your insurance provider.

Also, consider that other causes of the sewer damage matters when it comes to determining insurance coverage. If other parts of your home or poor workmanship caused the damage, you might have insurance coverage.

If the city caused the damage, or the city’s portion of the sewer is damaged, you may be able to get the city to do the repairs or pay for the damages.

How to Get Insurance Coverage for Sewers

Certain policy add-ons can help you get insurance coverage for your sewers if it matters to you. You can add a sewer back up endorsement to some policies. This protects your other service lines, such as gas and electricity, as well as sewers. Your provider may have a package or additional policy that can help. You’ll have to check with them to be sure.

We strongly recommend you look into these options. Sewer replacement and repair can be costly, depending on how extensive the damage is. Sewer service is essential to your home’s proper function, and if you don’t get complete repairs your home may suffer further damage. Sewer repair is much easier on homeowners who have insurance coverage they can use to offset the costs.