Sewer Main Pipe Burst – Am I Covered by my Insurer?

Sewer Main Pipe Burst – Am I Covered by my Insurer?

Is there nothing worse than discovering that your basement is flood and your possessions are floating in sewage? Yikes! When a “flood” like this occurs, we may rely on our homeowners insurance  to cover the damages. But did you know that a catastrophe of this magnitude ISN’T normally covered by a) a flood insurance , or b) your city. That’s right, the responsibility might fall on your shoulders. In fact, most policies specifically exclude this type of damage.

So how do we protect ourselves? In this article, we’ll take a look at the ways homeowners can make sure they’re covered in the event that a sewer main pipe decides to work improperly.


Check Your Coverage

First, it helps to understand definitions  set forth by insurers. Basically, insurers look to reduce the risk of the company that they’re hired by, so they tend to judge floods of this nature by wear, tear, and deterioration. As a homeowner, this is where regular maintenance comes into play.

If your pipes are leaking or backed up, guess what? That’s your responsibility. Some policies even go as far the exclude repeated leakage and seepage.

What does this mean? As an example, if you have a drain line that’s leaking beneath the floorboards that causes an outbreak of mold (a common occurrence), there will be no coverage for the damage AND the subsequent plumbing repairs. You, as the homeowner, are required to keep the vital infrastructure to your home intact.

What’s a Homeowner to Do?

Well, don’t consider yourself held completely out to dry (pun intended)? Having an insurance advisor on your side can mean the difference between snaking a line to clear out the blockages yourself at your own expense and having a professional take care of the problem at no charge. These damages can cause thousands of dollars to replace. Don’t take this lightly!


An insurance advisor can help you shop around for policies that DO cover sewer backups, whether as part of the best policy that can find to meet your needs, or they can negotiate a floater [ADD LINK TO “What is a Floater”] to cover the gaps that your policy may be missing (or excluding). An endorsement to your policy could cover damages to property that tends to be vulnerable to damages, including rugs, carpets, and your paper files.

While utility companies may offer protection plans for sale (often via private companies), when it comes time to claim, you may be met with higher utility bills and substandard coverage.

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Be ready for the unexpected: prevention is key. Either by having your property inspected, knowing that your coverage in place, and regularly maintaining your home. Failing that, having an insurance advisor that understands your needs is invaluable to ensuring that your home is covered, especially in the springtime  when roots grow within pipes and water levels rise. Contact the insurance advisors at RiskBlock today to give you peace of mind and keep the pipes flowing!

Author: Liam Dai
Lead Insurance Advisor for RiskBlock. Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the author or insurance agency for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the insurance coverage, not to provide specific insurance advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no professional advice and professional client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for professional advice from a licensed professional insurance agent in your state. All scenarios are different and unique to the situation.