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Sewer Backup Coverage and Prevention Tips

Thursday, June 13, 2024
Sewer Backup Coverage and Prevention Tips

A sewer backup issue in your home can lead to serious consequences—including clogged pipes, contaminated water, fire hazards and property damage caused by sewage buildup or mold accumulation. The most common cause of a backup in your sewer lateral (the pipe that runs from your area’s sanitary sewer main to your home) is from items that the line is not meant to handle. Combining the following best practices with sewer backup coverage will help ensure that you’re protected from a water backup event.

What Protection Does Sewer Backup Coverage Offer?

For an additional premium to your homeowner’s insurance policy, an endorsement for water backup and sump discharge will cover losses caused by the following:

  • The backup of water or waterborne materials through a sewer or drain.
  • Water or waterborne material that overflows from a sump, even if the backup is due to the sump pump’s mechanical breakdown. Coverage includes damage to covered property but excludes the sump pump and any related broken equipment.

Sewer Backup Prevention Best Practices

The endorsement does not cover losses involving owner negligence, such as damage due to forgetting to turn on your sump pump or damages caused by a flood. Some water and sewer backups are unavoidable, but there are some simple things you can do to prevent backups in your sewer line:

  • Maintain your sewer system. Contact a plumber or specialist for a routine inspection to ensure that your system is functioning properly.
  • Locate your property’s sewer lateral to help determine if your line is at risk of being damaged by tree and shrub roots. If so, seek professional help to trim these roots or replace your line with a plastic pipe.
  • Illegal plumbing connections: Connecting flood control systems to your sanitary sewer only spells trouble. Consult a plumber to correct any illegal connections.
  • Do not allow the following items to go down your kitchen sink (instead, dispose of them in your garbage can):
  • Grease and fats—These items solidify as they cool, which can quickly result in clogged pipes.
  • Oils—Regardless of the type you use, continuously rinsing oil down the drain can cause buildup in your pipes.
  • As a general rule, only flush toilet paper down your drain. Most other products are not designed to deteriorate quickly and can clog your sewer line.

Often, water entering the basement is not due to a sewer backup but rather from poor soil grading around your home’s exterior. If you have a water problem and have ruled out sewer backup, properly ensuring water drains away from your home’s foundation can often fix the problem.

Check Your Coverage

Many homeowners mistakenly assume that their homeowner’s insurance policy will cover a sewer backup incident, but standard homeowners policies typically exclude such losses. Don’t make this costly mistake. Be sure to secure additional, personalized coverage to protect your home (and your wallet) in case of a sewer backup.

The cost of sewer backup coverage is affordable. Our personal lines team can provide more information about coverage costs, limits and deductibles. Call The Horton Group, Inc. at (800) 383-8283 to learn more about this coverage and all the affordable ways we can help you protect your home and personal property.

Material posted on this website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a legal opinion or medical advice. Contact your legal representative or medical professional for information specific to your legal or medical needs.