Homeownership comes with all sorts of wonders, and all sorts of I wonder-s. One of the questions we most often receive is whether or not homeowner’s insurance covers plumbing system repair/restoration. This question is often overlooked in the early stages of home buying and homeownership, as the actual plumbing is out of sight. However, damaged sewage systems can cause major problems, resulting in destroyed floors, walls, and yards. This is why we recommend always asking your provider, or potential provider, if sewer line insurance is a part of their standard policy, or if an additional policy is necessary to cover the cost of potential damages.
Home insurance typically does not cover sewer line replacement
Sewer line replacement is not typically included in a standard home insurance policy, unless the damage is the result of something outside of your control, such as fires, explosions, vehicular damage, or falling objects. Then, the line(s) on your property is considered an “other structure” of your home and provided the same protections as your dwelling. However, these examples of damage are rare among reasons for pipe repair and replacement. When pipes need to be replaced due to aging and lack of maintenance, they are not covered by standard insurance policies.
However, there are options that can help you avoid catastrophe if one nears. For example, some policies include dwelling damage, which may cover damaged underground pipes. Further (and more comprehensively), water or sewer backup can often be added to a policy to help cover costs of damages incurred through backed-up pipes. And for the most coverage, most insurance agencies sell sewer insurance as a standalone policy. As a firm that deals with minor and major repairs and replacements, we always recommend implementing some sort of sewer line addition to your standard policy – especially if your home was built before the 1950s. If a sewer line problem is left untreated, you can face tens of thousands in damage, to more than just your pipes.
What is sewer line insurance?
Sewer line insurance offers coverage for replacements, major repairs, and other issues that may arise due to issues with piping. (FYI: some policy providers bundle this coverage into a policy called service line coverage, which covers all home piping and wiring systems, including heating, internet access, natural gas, telecommunications, sewer, and water systems). Purchasing this kind of coverage enhances your standard policy and covers repairs to the lines themselves as well as the damages incurred during breakdown and cleanup.
What if I don’t have sewer line insurance?
It’s going to be ok! You still need to repair your pipes and we will still do everything to help you. And remember, some damages/repairs may be covered by your current policy. Pipelining Technologies has spent nearly four decades working with homeowners and insurance companies in South Florida to remedy and replace aging and defunct sewer and water lines. Our experienced technicians are able to provide detailed reports on damage, potential damages, and required remedies that can be used in claims. And, our team of professionals in the estimations department can help you find and decide upon the most efficient, least invasive, and budget-friendly solutions for your home’s needs.
How do I avoid sewage line disasters in the first place?
Great question. Signs of backups and problems can often be noticed before an actual disaster strikes. These common symptoms of backup and damage include:
- Sewage or water backs up in a kitchen sink or tub when flushing a toilet or draining a bath/shower
- Slow-draining sinks and tubs
- Recurring toilet backups
- Lingering odors coming from your pipes
- Recessed spots in your yard – above or near your sewer pipes (indicative of broken pipes and leaking sewage/water)
- Cracks in your home’s foundation (could indicate water or sewer pipe leaks)
If you notice any of these issues, we highly recommend calling us. Pipelining Technologies will come to your home and perform a comprehensive video inspection of your sewer pipes. A high-quality inspection will show you the conditions you truly face, revealing blockages, cracks, leaks, and channeling. From there, we can help you estimate the work required to prevent or repair damages, and work with you and your insurance agency to resolve your situation.