Sewer Lines to Your Home and Insurance Coverage Loopholes

        Property owners who discover their sewer lines are broken or filled with roots are often dismayed to learn this is generally not covered by a homeowners insurance policy.

        When roots infiltrate the sewer lines, it can quickly lead to sewage backups or potentially a flooded basement. The bad news is most sewage cleanup services are typically paid by your home insurance unless a property owner has a separate rider for their homes. So if sewage backs up in your home, there is often little financial recourse for the damage.

        “It’s really a game of whac-a-mole,” said Insurance Information Institute Vice President Robert Hartwig. “Homeowners insurance doesn’t protect against this because it’s usually caused by an act of God.” Worse, discovering your basement has flooded can become dramatically worse if you realize your sewer line is impacted by root growth and potentially cracked or broken. That’s because sewage cleanup companies usually will not touch a sewage backup that is the result of a broken sewage line. They don’t want to risk being sued if sewage floods their work area and creates an even bigger problem still.

Though sewage backups are typically not covered under a homeowners insurance policy, most home insurance policies do provide some sort of coverage if a property owner pays for a special rider policy, covering sewer backups, sump pump failures and basement flooding that can be quite expensive when you need to hire a restoration company. The sewage cleanup service will basically hire an emergency plumber as well as a  restoration company if sewage floods your basement. The sewage backup may be covered under one’s home insurance policy, but the sewage cleanup is not.

        “That’s a separate cost,” said Genworth Financial spokesman Steve Pelone. If sewage backs up into a home and the sewer line is broken or filled then it would be excluded by most popular companies, including State Farm and Allstate. In the wake of HurricaneIda, sewage backups became a huge problem in some areas ravaged by flooding. The Insurance Information Institute estimates more than 500,000 homeowners have sewage backups substantial property flooding issues.

Emergency plumbers are important to keep drain lines clear

Plumbers can assist with camera inspection and rooter service to identify potential problem areas typical of a sewer line. Emergency drain cleaning can be expensive but can reduce the potential for basement flooding problems.

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