Sewer Back-Up: Is it Covered by Insurance?


As if having sewer waters inside your house wasn’t bad enough, imagine the walls, furniture, floors and electrical systems in your house being damaged by sewer water! This type of ‘catastrophe’ is called sewer backup.

What Causes the Backup?

A sewer backup generally takes place during a flood, when the floodwater forces the sewage from sanitary sewer lines to go back into the house via drain pipes. Not only does this type of problem cause health hazards, but also the items damaged by it are also extremely expensive and challenging to repair.

There are several causes for sewer backup, the primary one being aging sewer systems. On an average the sewer systems are about thirty years old, therefore there are high chances of sewer water being backed into the houses in case of calamities like floods. Another cause for this problem would be combined pipelines, i.e. pipelines that are used for draining raw sewage as well as storm water. In case of such ‘dualistic’ systems, sewer backup takes place when the pipes are exposed to more volume of liquids than they are capable of handling. Other causes are as follows:

In order to cover up for the damage made by sewer backup, which are extremely expensive, one can rely on an insurance policy. Sewer backup is generally an optional coverage in case of insurance policies, therefore most people make the mistake of not opting for it and then they end up having little to no coverage during times of problems that results in a sewer backup. Thus, it is important to opt for this additional coverage at the time of taking an insurance policy or even in between as soon as one realizes that one is living in a high-risk area.

Insurance Coverage

  • The very first step that you should take would be to click some pictures of your house and have them stocked should a sewer backup take place. These would serve as ‘before’ photos.
  • In case of a calamity resulting in a sewer backup, one should take the ‘after’ photos to show the affected areas Itemize property losses (if any).
  • Hire professionals to carry out the drainage, cleaning and repair
  • Save all receipts pertaining to the above services so as to present them to the insurance company for claims later.

With so many benefits springing up from having a sewer backup insurance coverage, it would be wise to opt for such coverage. Before disaster strikes, check with your agent to make sure you have coverage.