A homeowner is responsible for the sewer line under the house and to the street. Older homes often have sewer line breaks or tree roots invading the interior of the line. Homeowner’s insurance policies routinely exclude sewer line repairs from coverage as the insurance industry interprets this as a maintenance issue. You may have insurance for sewer line repairs if you can relate the cause of the damage to a covered peril.
Types of Homeowner's Insurance
The insurance industry and government do not standardize homeowner’s insurance in all states, but some standard elements exist. The HO-1 policy is low coverage and not recommended or written by many insurers. HO-2 includes basic perils covered by the insurance. HO-3 is common homeowner’s insurance coverage that includes anything not excluded by the policy. Your insurer is more likely to pay a claim for sewer line repairs if you have HO-3 coverage.
If you have sewer line damage, you may have expenses for cleaning of the backup, repair to the structure caused from the backup and sewer line repairs to prevent the recurrence. The source of the problem may determine if you have some insurance coverage or not. If the cause of your damage is from freezing of plumbing or an object falling on the sewer line, for example, you may have a valid claim for repair of the structural damage if your policy covers freezing and falling objects. Your policy does not cover sewer line repairs if the cause of the damage is age or lack of maintenance.
Locate and read your insurance policy. Look for an HO number to see what kind of homeowner’s insurance coverage you have. If you live in Texas, the HO-B is the standard policy, a variation of HO-3 or all-risks policy. Review the covered perils and the excluded perils. See how the facts of your damage and sewer repair can fit into your insurance policy for coverage. If you believe you may have insurance coverage under the terms of your insurance policy, contact your insurer. Otherwise, do not contact your insurer.
Insurance companies use databases to track claims to determine the cost of insurance policies. The Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange is a database used for pricing personal property insurance. The CLUE database contains a 7-year history of your property insurance claims. Insurers who contribute data to CLUE can review your file if you request an insurance policy or quote. If you contact your insurer with a potential claim, your CLUE report may show the contact even if you did not file a claim, possibly affecting the cost of your homeowner’s insurance in the future. If you can see that your insurance policy does not cover your sewer line repair, you may choose not to contact your insurer.