When we find ourselves dealing with the challenges surrounding an unforeseen home repair, one of the first questions we typically have is, “How much is this going to cost?” That question is usually followed by another: “Will my homeowner’s insurance cover any of this?”
Below, we offer some of the knowledge we have gained in our 20+ years of experience providing high-quality sewer repair. Please note, however, that an insurance expert in your local area will have the best information for your specific situation. (If you would like a referral for a Bay Area homeowner’s insurance agent, we have a few agents on our preferred list. Reach out to Pipe Spy for more information.)
Will Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Sewer Line Repair?
If you’re wondering whether or not sewer line replacement (or repair) is covered by homeowner’s insurance, you may not like the answer. Unfortunately, it's rare that homeowner’s insurance will cover the sewer line repair or replacement unless it was damaged by another party (ie. tenant, neighbor, contractor) or “an act of God” (see below).
It also does not make a difference if it’s a full replacement or a spot repair. If the line is damaged because it's old or because of normal wear after several years, the insurer won't 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 (i.e. root intrusion, corrosion, off-sets).
When should a homeowner file a claim?
There are certain circumstances in which you should consider filing a claim to get help covering the cost of sewer lateral work. Specifically, it’s recommended if your sewer line was damaged by an Act of God or by an act of another person.
An “Act of God” can include:
- When there has been a fallen tree that has broken the line.
An “Act of another person” can include:
- When a tenant accidentally poured concrete down the line and it can't be salvaged.
It’s best to always assume the exclusion of Earthquake, Flood, and Fire incidents that damage the sewer. As a consumer, you will almost definitely need separate or added insurance for damage caused by these events.
How should homeowners protect themselves from financial risks?
When you are setting up insurance policies, it’s crucial to reflect on the type of coverage you really need. While it’s impossible to plan for every outcome, take time to think about your needs as a homeowner. Remember that policies are not uniform: one policy may cover mold damage from plumbing leaks while another may not, for example. So be aware of these differences and try to choose insurance policies that can be shaped and curated to fit your needs.
Beyond insurance planning, there are steps you should take to ensure your sewer lines are compliant with local regulations. You should also be sure to practice smart plumbing in order to avoid costly problems. These resources can help:
- How to Prevent a Sewer Backup
- Sewer Line Belly 101
- Troubleshooting a Sewer Line Problem
- When to Replace a Sewer Line
- Why You Should Avoid a DIY Sewer Line Repair
Choose a Sewer Repair Company You Can Trust
If you have more questions about using your homeowner’s insurance for plumbing services, feel free to contact us. We can provide pointers or refer you to a local agent who can offer expert advice.
If you’re looking for plumbing services, remember that it’s important to find a company that will help guide you through the process. You deserve high-quality work, professionalism, and reliable customer service.
Pipe Spy has been solving plumbing problems others can’t since 1998. We not only accommodate all the needs of our clients, but we have a specialized knowledge from which property owners routinely benefit. For more information on our sewer repair options, explore our services or get in touch with us to request a free quote.