Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Sewer Line?A broken sewer pipe can cause damage to areas of your home as well as be a costly repair. There are many different options for sewer line repair or replacement, but the question may arise whether the repair or replacement will be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. Here is what you need to understand about homeowners insurance and how it relates to sewer line breaks:

  • Each homeowner’s insurance policy can vary in their coverage, but standard coverage often includes damages and repairs to your home that is caused by non-negligent or unpreventable damages. Your sewer line may fall under this definition depending on where the break is and what caused it.
  • Where is the break in the pipe? Determining the exact location of the break in the pipe can be difficult. Often the best way to discover the damage and to locate the break is with the use of a small sewer inspection camera that is sent through the sewer pipe. The camera can help you locate the break as well as help to record the distance from the insertion point to the break. Breaks that occur outside of your foundation walls are often not covered by insurance companies.
  • The overall condition of the sewer pipe will come into play in determining if repair or replacement will be covered by your homeowners insurance. Insurance adjusters will consider the age and overall condition of the pipe both at the break as well as in other areas of the sewer line. If the entire sewer pipe looks aged and in disrepair the break will often not be covered and will instead be listed as caused by lack of maintenance and upkeep. If your sewer pipe is new and shows no signs aging or wear before or after the break the chances of having the repair covered increase.
  • Other conditions that could affect whether your insurance company will pay for a replacement or repair of the sewer line tie directly to the cause of the break. If it can be proven that the break was caused by poor workmanship or installation the chances of having the repair costs covered increase significantly. On the other hand, if the cause of the break can be linked to outside causes such as tree root infiltration or damage caused by outside forces the insurance company most likely will not cover the repair or replacement.

The final decision about whether a sewer line will be covered by your homeowner’s insurance comes down to the cause of the damage, the resulting effects, and the exact location. However, it is important to note that even if the repair itself is not covered by your homeowner’s policy it is possible that cleaning and restoration costs for damage the sewer line break may have caused in your home are more likely to be covered. This includes cost of cleaning and remediating the damage caused by sewer backups or water damage. When faced with the potential cost of a sewer line replacement or trenchless pipe repair it never hurts to check with your insurance company to find out exactly what your specific policy covers in relation to your sewer line.

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