How Can I Get Homeowners Insurance To Pay For Broken Sewer Line?
If you’ve been a homeowner for at least 10 years, you have probably experienced some issues with your sewer lines. While residential plumbing is designed to withstand frequent use, the sewer lines that run from your home into the ground are likely to leak or break from time to time. Depending on the severity and physical location of the break, a repair could end up costing thousands of dollars in cleanup and restoration expenses.
Unfortunately, you might not be able to count on your homeowner’s insurance policy to pay for these expenses, particularly if the break happened due to gradual deterioration over time. You will likely find that if you file a claim with your insurance company to seek compensation for significant water damage to the interior of the home, the insurance adjuster will probably ask you about the history of the plumbing system.
In many cases, the adjuster will deem you “negligent,” claiming that you failed to adequately inspect your water pipes and sewer lines for wear and tear on a regular basis. If this happens, your insurance provider will deny your claim, and you will be responsible for paying for repairs. Similarly, you will be asked about your household’s activities in the days before the break occurred. If your sewer line broke due to freezing temperatures and you kept your windows open before you left for a vacation or you turned down the heat too low, you will probably be held liable.
You will want to consult your homeowner’s policy to determine what is covered by your insurance company. In most cases, your policy will only pay for damages caused by a sewer line break if the incident occurs due to a defective pipe or other manufacturing issue. Still, there are some strategies that you can try to increase the likelihood that your insurance provider will accept your claim.
First, you can buy an endorsement or rider on your current policy for $20 to $30 per month that specifically covers damages that result from sewer line breaks. While there could still be several situations in which your claim is denied, this type of add-on can decrease the chance that you will need to pay for repairs out of your own pocket. You could also add a water damage plan to your water utility bill for around $10 per month that can help to offset repair costs by covering damages up to $5,000.