New sewer pipe being installed in the ground.

Are Broken Sewer Pipes Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

Updated March 1, 2024 . AmFam Team

There’s a lot going on under your home that helps keep it connected to the outside world. Chief among those systems are underground sewer pipes that play a critical role in your home’s day-to-day operations. When the unexpected happens, and damage occurs to your sewer pipes, you need to know if home insurance covers sewer line replacement because repairs will need to be made quickly — and they can get costly.

Father working from home at a large desk with his two small children.

So, is sewer line replacement covered by homeowners insurance? It depends on what caused the problem and whether the damage to the line is considered a “covered loss.” Here’s a look at a few common causes of damage to sewer lines that may be covered under a standard homeowners policy:

  • Lightning
  • Fire
  • Hail
  • Windstorms
  • Vehicles
  • Falling objects
  • Vandalism
  • Volcanic eruptions
  • Explosions
  • Damage from aircraft

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When does home insurance cover sewer line replacement?

Sewer lines may be covered in two specific ways — when uncontrollable natural forces or acts caused by others occur and damage or destroy them. Getting to the bottom of how the problem occurred is the only way to understand if your insurance company will cover you when you file a claim.

Houses with lightning striking in the background.

Here are a few examples of acts of God that may be covered by your homeowners insurance sewer line protection:

  • A tree falls in your yard and ruptures your sewer line.
  • Large hailstones destroy a sewer line buried in the backyard.
  • Lightning strikes an object on your property, resulting in a fire that damages the sewer line.

A car crashed into a tree.

These are a few examples of acts caused by others that may be covered by a standard homeowners policy:

  • An out-of-control vehicle strikes your property and breaks the sewer line.
  • Vandals start a fire in your yard, and the damage destroys your sewer line.
  • A neighbor is trimming a tree, and a branch falls on your property, crushing the sewer line.

Homeowners insurance may help cover sewer line replacement costs under certain circumstances. To ensure you’ve got the coverage you need, you may want to pick up additional service line coverage, which includes sewer and other service line protection. It also may help cover a wider array of issues and losses — more than just your sewer line. You may get coverage for buried water and natural gas lines with electric cables, among others.

An insurance agent reviewing documents with her clients.

When does home insurance not cover sewer line replacement?

Water can cause major damage to your home. In many instances, your standard homeowners policy may not offer the coverage you need to keep your home fully protected. For example, are tree roots in the sewer line covered by insurance?

Or suppose your sewer backs up after a storm because the sump pump failed during a power outage. You may be unable to file a claim to cover damages without added sump pump failure and water backup coverage. If you live in an area that sees a lot of rainfall annually or your home has an older sump pump, you may want to consider this add-on coverage. Be aware, however, that damage to sump pumps due to wear and tear will not be covered.

Water pooling around the doorway from a flooding basement.

Does homeowners insurance cover sewer line repair? In most cases, if the issue doesn’t qualify as a covered loss, you probably won’t be allowed to file a claim. Here’s a list of sewer line-related problems that a typical homeowners policy will not cover:

  • A tree root breaks into your sewer line and blocks flow, resulting in water damage to your home.
  • Your dated sewer line is corroded and collapses, which results in sewer backup.
  • Extended periods of extreme cold freeze and destroy your sewer line.
  • Wear and tear erodes your sewer line, resulting in a significant sewage leak.

Person working on her laptop at a desk.

How to Submit a Claim for Sewer Line Damage

Although it’s never something you look forward to, you may need to file a homeowners insurance claim with American Family one day. When the unexpected happens, and your sewer line suffers a loss, our claims professionals will help you efficiently process the claim. There are several ways you can file a claim with us:

Happy couple talking on their couch.

While you’re considering your sewer line coverage options, be sure to connect with your American Family Insurance agent. They can help you understand exactly how you’re covered and point you to coverage options that fit your home’s needs, like optional flood insurance, if necessary. With the right coverage, you can find peace of mind knowing everything you’ve worked so hard for is well protected.

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This information represents only a brief description of coverages, is not part of your policy, and is not a promise or guarantee of coverage. If there is any conflict between this information and your policy, the provisions of the policy will prevail. Insurance policy terms and conditions may apply. Exclusions may apply to policies, endorsements, or riders. Coverage may vary by state and may be subject to change. Some products are not available in every state. Please read your policy and contact your agent for assistance.

*Customers who bundle home and auto insurance policies may save up to 23% on both policies together (as of December 2023). Discounts may vary by state, property, policy form and company underwriting the home and/or auto policy. Discounts may not apply to all coverages on a home or auto policy.

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