Sewer & drain backups – are you covered?

There are water leaks.  The two categories are sudden & accidental and slow drip or leak.  Home insurers typically add coverage for one or both types of water leaks.  This coverage may be built in or optionally added.

There’s one more type of water peril that’s different from leaks.  Homeowners and renters need to be aware of this peril.  It’s sewer and drain back up.  Leaking pipes and appliances are certainly a nuisance, but at least the water is clear and clean.  Much more foul is a sewage and drain backup.

Sewage and drain backups can be;

  • Small: Black water backs up into plumbing fixtures (sinks, tubs, showers, toilets) and then drains on its own.
  • Major: Sewage backs up and overflows the plumbing and enters the home.
  • Worst case: A homeowner or renter could be faced with several inches of sewage throughout their home.

I’m aware of an instance in the D/FW area where a crew working on a sewage line did one thing wrong.  That one thing resulted in about 4 to 6 inches of sewage backing up into a woman’s home.  This scenario is a toxic situation requiring a specialized clean-up by a trained crew.

The causes of a sewage and drain backup are;

  • Blockages in the sewage pipe
  • Broken pipes
  • Invasion of pipes by roots
  • Flooding in the sewage system
  • Vandalism

No one wants to face a situation like this.  Imagine how upset the homeowner or renter would be to find out their policy didn’t cover this.  Sewage and drain coverage may not be available on your policy, but if it is, it will be an option that must be added if you are to be covered.  Here are a few things you need to know;

  • Sewage & drain coverage is usually not included (there’s one form type that may include it)
  • Most company’s offer it as an optional coverage (if you don’t add it though your policy doesn’t cover it)
  • Some insurance companies refer to this as sump coverage, sump pump coverage, water backup coverage, or back up of sewers and drains
  • Coverage amounts vary by company from a low of $5,000 total to a high of $250,000 or the home’s value
  • Cost for coverage varies by company
  • There may be a waiting period for this coverage to go into effect once it’s added

Always find out what it covers, what it doesn’t cover, and any restrictions that may exist.  One restriction that’s pretty common is a backup that is flood induced.  This actually happened in the coastal areas of New Jersey and New York when Hurricane Sandy struck.

Have a question or an experience you’re willing to share.  Post it in our comments section or on our Google + or Facebook page.  We’d also be happy to provide you with a home or renters quote too!  Simply click one of the two links below to receive your no obligation quote;

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Coming in our Wednesday post will be on one of the largest discounts available to a new teen driver and on Friday we’ll address hobbies that life insurers don’t like.

Evie Wise
Evie Wise


Evie Wise
Evie Wise

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